NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle
Joey Gladstone/San Marino Excavating team report

Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, USA, June 23-25, 2017

Mythic Winlight for Gladstone at Norwalk

story and photos by Tim Hailey

 

NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Joey Gladstone

Classical mythology leaps off the page and into real life every day, and for NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Joey Gladstone, myths play out on the dragstrips of the Mello Yello series.

In every hero’s journey, there comes a time for the student to conquer the teacher. For NHRA Road to the Future candidate Gladstone, that teacher—his mentor—is three-time champion Eddie Krawiec.

Trim-Tex sponsored Gladstone had lined up against Krawiec twice so far on raceday and come away empty handed. The Sunday eliminations ladder for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio listed Gladstone vs. Krawiec in round 1—Joey’s third opportunity to smite the legend.

The interesting thing about the pairing this time is that Gladstone and bike owner/tuner Joe Riccardi had the San Marino Excavating Suzuki qualified in the top half of the field in fourth with a 6.90 at 193.65 mph while Krawiec was thirteenth with a 6.95 at 192.

Gladstone and Joe Riccardi had the San Marino Excavating Suzuki qualified fourth with a 6.90

Always intense at the starting line, Gladstone ratchets it up a bit whenever he faces Krawiec. And although Eddie’s Vance & Hines/Harley-Davidson team is on the back foot while breaking in their new Street Rods, the multi-time championship winning team can never be counted out.

“I was really nervous for that round,” said Gladstone. “I qualified really well but now I still had to run the three-time champ.”

The tree came down and Krawiec was away first by .007. Maybe this wouldn’t be the time Gladstone took the stripe against Krawiec after all. But the new Harley is struggling to 60 foot and Gladstone was at the first block .027 quicker, erasing Krawiec’s slim start advantage.

Gladstone vs. Krawiec

“I knew by about the 330 that if I just stayed tucked I had it won,” continued Joey. “But then I cleared the grandstand and the wind hit me like a boot kick. I thought ‘Aw man!’ but I hung off the bike to the left and brought it back.”

With the Suzuki winding out and Gladstone hitting his shift points, this one was in the bag for the student. The teacher was beaten. “They’re working on the new bike, but they’ll get it and Eddie will be back on top again,” said Joey.

Gladstone’s day ended soon after when he lost to quasi-teammate Scotty Pollacheck. “I didn’t do my job in the second round. I definitely wanted to go to the semis.”

Gladstone will have the chance to go to the semis and further when his hero’s journey continues on July 7-9 at the Fallen Patriots Route 66 NHRA Nationals, Route 66 Raceway just outside of Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Joey Gladstone and Joe Riccardi thank Joe Koenig and Trim-Tex , Eddie Krawiec and everyone at Vance & Hines , San Marino Excavating , Suzuki Extended Protection , Underdahl/Stoffer Racing, Kustom Machine , Eight Mile Signs , Northeast Ohio Dyno, Pingel Enterprise , Manitoulin Chrysler , Dave Vantine and Vantine Imaging , Mike Androwick of Mike’s Racing Heads ,  Walt Timblin and Timblin Chassis, and their families.

 

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