CONCORD, N.C. — The scariest moment during the DeWalt Tools NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway was unquestionably Cory Reed’s crash during the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle quarterfinals Sunday afternoon.
Reed was facing teammate Joey Gladstone with a spot in the semifinals on the line, with Gladstone picking up the round win. However, after the pair crossed the finish line, Reed’s bike drifted from the left lane to the right lane and clipped the front of Gladstone’s bike.
Reed was promptly thrown from his bike, which went airborne and tumbled wildly. Both Reed and the bike came to rest on the racing surface.
Once Gladstone got his bike stopped, he ran to his teammates aid. Medical officials transported Reed to a local hospital for further evaluation.
In an update posted Monday afternoon by Reed Motorsports, it was revealed that Reed suffered an undisclosed leg injury and is scheduled to undergo surgery this week.
“Just got to see him for the first time since the track, tomorrow a group of specialists are going to take a closer look at his leg and come up with the best came plan for surgery, which is scheduled for tomorrow,” read the update, which was provided by Gladstone. “He has no road rash. He is in a lot of pain but he’s a warrior. He is in great spirits.
“Thanks for the prayers and well wishes guys. I wish he could have seen everyone at the track that was concerned about him because it was truly moving.”
• At age 72, John Force is aware that his age is catching up with him. He admitted such during a post-qualifying meeting with the press Friday evening.
“I’m running out of time,” Force said when asked why he seemed so focused on capturing another Funny Car title. “I don’t know what that time frame is, but I love it, I’m healthy. I was in the gym today for two hours. I just want to race with these kids. I just really love the racing. I love the fans and it’s getting tougher because I’m getting old.
“A race car don’t know how old you are. I can drive this thing, not a problem.”
Force is in the hunt for his 17th Funny Car championship. Following Sunday’s action at zMAX Dragway he sits third in points, 25 behind leader Ron Capps. Asked if he enjoys battling multiple competitors for the championship, he had a very John Force answer.
“I’d like to wrap it up like I used to do at Indy,” Force said with a smile.
• Carolina Nationals Funny Car winner Tim Wilkerson is a busy man, but when the NHRA circus rolls into World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Ill., this weekend he’s going to be even busier.
For the first time, Wilkerson is planning to field his own Funny Car as well as a Top Fuel dragster. Wilkerson, who is from nearby Springfield, Ill., acquired a Top Fuel dragster earlier this year and plans to field it for driver Keith Murt during the NHRA Midwest Nationals.
If Murt makes the field, it will be his first Top Fuel start since the 2013 season.
“I’m going to run my dragster there,” Wilkerson confirmed during his post-victory press conference. “My kid (Daniel Wilkerson) is going to run that and Keith Murt is going to drive it, so that’s going to be exciting. I need one more thing to do, so if anyone needs their car waxed or anything like that, I’ve got plenty of time.”
• Strutmasters.com owner Chip Lofton isn’t afraid of a little work. Lofton, who was on hand at zMAX Dragway to support Top Fuel driver Justin Ashley, was spotted cleaning up the sink area in the men’s restroom in the main tower Sunday afternoon.
“I hate when it gets messy like this,” Lofton said. “I even do this at my own office.”
• An interesting situation took place in the opening round of Pro Stock eliminations as No. 1 qualifier Aaron Stanfield and No. 16 qualifier Wally Stroupe both left the starting line before the green light turned on.
Per NHRA rules, if both competitors red-light, the first competitor to leave is disqualified and the second competitor is awarded the victory. Stanfield left first and Stroupe advanced to the second round.
Stroupe, a local competitor, later advanced to the semifinals where he was eliminated by eventual winner Kyle Koretsky.
• Making his first Top Fuel start since 2019, Spencer Massey upended three-time Top Fuel champion Antron Brown with a holeshot in the opening round of eliminations. His margin of victory was .0005 seconds, or roughly three inches.
Massey, who was driving for Pat Dakin, got another holeshot in the second round when he lined up against No. 1 qualifier Brittany Force. Unfortunately, Force ran him down and beat him to the finish line by .0284 seconds.