| July 25, 2022
Showing in his third-straight NHRA Professional Stock Motorbike remaining round, Reed Motorsports Suzuki’s Joey Gladstone ultimately acquired his lengthy-overdue 1st NHRA victory at the Sonoma Nationals.
By Kevin McKenna | Pics by Matt Polito
For decades, Gladstone has been regarded as 1 of the most proficient riders in all of bike drag racing. He’s won on virtually each and every bicycle possible, like 230-mph “no wheelie bar” bikes, but conquering the NHRA Professional Inventory Bike course has tested to be his Achilles’ heel.
Appearing in his fourth profession last, Gladstone ultimately got to hoist a single of the prized NHRA “Wally” trophies just after defeating Vance & Hines Suzuki’s Eddie Krawiec in the final round. Gladstone not only received the race, but also acquired to screen his driving prowess with a starting up-line holeshot that authorized him to conquer Krawiec with a a bit slower elapsed time, 6.759 to 6.758. Gladstone concluded with a 200.44 mph top rated speed to Krawiec’s 199.67.
“I hardly ever considered I’d see this day. No, that is a lie,” claimed Gladstone. “I saw the light at the conclusion of the tunnel and thought I could do this. I’ve focused 20 many years of my lifetime to this, and now I’ve completed it.”
For all of his achievements, Gladstone’s path to accomplishment has not been effortless. Early in his NHRA occupation, he rode bikes that ended up mainly uncompetitive. He was also sidelined briefly final yr after suffering a number of injuries when he arrived off a 200-mph bicycle during a exam session. Gladstone missed just 1 race and returned to end variety eight in the standings. His motivation to acquire never waned.
“When I was 12 many years-aged I went to my 1st NHRA National party,” Gladstone mentioned. “I raced in my to start with drag race when I was 16, now I’m 31. This suggests more to me than you could ever imagine.”
It was quite effortless to peg Gladstone as NHRA’s next initial-time winner, specially just after the Reed Motorsports workforce took shipping of a pair of Vance & Hines-organized four-valve Suzuki’s last yr.
With teammate Cory Reed sidelined due to accidents he endured in an on-monitor accident late previous yr, the team has set all its means into Gladstone’s bicycle, and the success have been extraordinary. Gladstone rode to the last of the two most recent rounds in Norwalk (Ohio) and Denver but arrived up small both instances.
In Sonoma, just one of the swiftest tracks on the tour, Gladstone was 3rd-fastest in qualifying with a 6.757 and was very constant through Sunday’s closing eliminations. with four runs between 6.735 and 6.759 in his wins from Jianna Evaristo, Katie Sullivan, White Alligator Suzuki’s Jerry Savoie and Krawiec. Gladstone’s only hiccup came in spherical 1 when his bicycle encountered an electrical concern.
“The race gods smiled on us in the initial round, and I experienced to shut the bicycle off and shove some wires all around and refire the bicycle,” Gladstone stated. “Some days you truly feel like you can’t get rid of and today was one of people days. I want to thank [team owners] Jim and Annie Whiteley and Corey Reed for assisting me realize my dreams.”
Krawiec was approximately equivalent to Gladstone in just about just about every area, functioning a string of mid 6.7-second runs of his have to arrive at the last round for the 90th time in his career. The 4-time Entire world Winner defeated Kelly Clontz, teammate Angelle Sampey, and reigning champ Matt Smith in advance of struggling with Gladstone.
As a result of the Sonoma race, the championship standings are nearer than ever. Gladstone is now just two points out of the guide, which is held by Norwalk winner Sampey. Steve Johnson is third but is just 12 factors behind, although Matt Smith and Krawiec are 36 and 69 factors driving. The prime seven riders are individual by significantly less than 100 factors, which is equivalent to just four rounds of competition.
There are 7 races remaining in the 2022 year with the following spherical scheduled to just take position in Topeka, Kansas, August 12-14.
- Joey Gladstone (Suz)
- Eddie Krawiec (Suz)
Click on listed here for all the most recent Drag Racing information.