With more round-wins this year than all other candidates combined, NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Cory Reed locked up the coveted Auto Club of Southern California Road to the Future Rookie of the Year award for 2016.
One of just two candidates to reach a final in their rookie season, Reed was runner-up at Maple Grove and reached the semifinals at St. Louis and in a clutch performance at the last race of the regular season, the U.S. Nationals, that catapulted him into the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
Reed, who climbed as high as 7th in the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle standings, racked up 12 round-wins during the season, upsetting some of the top names on the NHRA tour, including three former world champs – teammate Angelle Sampey, Eddie Krawiec, Hector Arana Sr.
Honored with the other stars of the drag racing universe at the NHRA championship awards ceremony in Hollywood the day after the season-ending NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif., Reed pocketed $20,000 in addition to the prestigious award. He joins a star-studded list of former Rookies of the Year, including superstars Del Worsham, Jeg Coughlin, Gary Scelzi, Jason Line, Robert Hight, and Larry Dixon.
Reed, the only candidate of the six to reach the playoffs, thanked parents Jim and Annie Whiteley, Sampey, crew chief Ken Johnson and crew, and Star Racing’s George and Jackie Bryce, who helped transform the young rider from a raw rookie to a top performer in just one season. For the 2017 campaign, Reed is leaving the vaunted Star team and taking Sampey with him to his new team, Team Liberty Racing.