NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

Pro Stock Motorcycle shake-up: Gladstone joins Liberty team

In a surprising move, Joey Gladstone leaves the Underdahl/Stoffer team and will join Team Liberty Racing. Former rookie of the year Cory Reed will sit out the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals.
28 Aug 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor

Gladstone2.jpgAfter a frustrating start to the 2018 season, Joey Gladstone has announced that he has joined Team Liberty Racing for the remainder of the 2018 season. Gladstone will be riding team owner Cory Reed’s Buell V-twin while Reed waits for his new bike to be built. Reed will not compete in this weekend’s Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. Gladstone began the season aboard a Suzuki fielded by the Stoffer/Underdahl team but has just one round win in nine events and is 13th in the season standings. He is 36-points behind 10th-ranked Hector Arana Sr. heading into Indy.

“We’re still good with the Stoffer/Underdahl team but we just weren’t getting the results we wanted,” Gladstone said. “I love those guys on that team and they’re a great team. I learned a lot while I was over there, but my plan has always been to run with Cory and Team Liberty Racing and we just decided to start early on our 2019 goal. I’m excited to work with Cory, the whole group at Team Liberty Racing, and the Whiteley family because they’ve always treated me like their own family. I was going to sit out the Countdown if I didn’t make it and now I have a great opportunity to make it into the Countdown on Cory’s bike.”

Reed, a former Auto Club Road to the Future award winner, has also struggled this season. After nine events, he’s ranked No. 14 in the Mello Yello standings and is 43 points out of a spot in the top 10. Given the unique points-and-a-half structure at Indy, Reed has a shot to qualify for the Countdown to the Championship, but has elected to forgo that in order to accommodate Gladstone.
gladstone3.jpg“I know I’m not mathematically out of the top 10 [going into] Indy, but I just think it’s the best choice for me to sideline myself and wait until my new bike is done being built,” Reed explained. “Angelle [Sampey] is in the top ten right now and Joey has a good chance of getting in, so we want to make sure we can get both of them in the top ten before the Countdown. Joey is one of my best friends and he was going to join Team Liberty Racing at the beginning of 2019 –- we’re just getting a head start on it now.”
Gladstone will bring primary sponsor Yellow Corn on board with him to Team Liberty Racing. He will also make the transition from a Suzuki four-cylinder bike to a Buell V-twin.
“Cory is just that kind of guy,” Gladstone added. “I was going to be riding this bike anyway once his new bike was done and he thought I had a better chance of getting into the top ten, so he asked if I wanted to ride and I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.”