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Changes swirl around Cory Reed Motorsports, but optimism remains

Cory Reed and teammate Joey Gladstone return to the NHRA tour with a new crew chief and a renewed sense of optimism.
22 Jun 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Race coverage
reed

The Reed Motorsports Pro Stock Motorcycle team featuring owner Cory Reed and Joey Gladstone was noticeable absent from the most recent Pro Stock Motorcycle race in Chicago amid reports that they’d parted ways with engine builder and crew chief Larry Morgan. The team has resurfaced in Norwalk and Reed confirmed the change, and also introduced longtime motorcycle racer and engine builder Cecil Towner of HTP Performance as the new crew chief. Towner is well-known in the motorcycle world, primarily for his success with no-bar bikes, but Reed sees him as the savior for his two-bike NHRA program.

“Cecil knows Gruge bikes but he’s been around for a long time and he knows how to make these things work,” said Reed. “Managing the power is different in a Pro Stock bike compared to a Pro Stock car and no offense to Larry Morgan, but I think that’s where we’ve struggled. We’ve got competitive horsepower, but we haven’t made competitive runs. I think we’re a step closer to being where we want to be now. Cecil has a good grasp on tires and engine management and most of his grudge bikes run the same clutch as we run in our bikes.”

Anyone who might question Reed’s dedication to building a competitive Pro Stock Motorcycle program is likely to change their opinion after Reed revealed that he’s packing up his entire race shop, including machines, equipment, and his engine dyno, from his current home in Lithia, Fla., just outside of Tampa, and relocating to Towner’s hometown of Richmond, Va. Reed has been in his Florida home for less than a year, but is willing to make the sacrifice in order to fulfill his dream of building a winning program. When it comes to crew members, there has been a revolving door at Reed's shop with Chris Rivas, Ken Johnson, among the former employees along with Pro Stock racers Morgan, and Jim Yates.

“I am in this for the long haul,” Reed said. “Yes, I wanted to live in Florida and I finally made that happen last year but this is a business opportunity and it’s too good to pass up. I have a motor dyno and Cecil has a chassis dyno and we just have a lot of big plans for the things we can accomplish by working together. There is a lot of opportunity in the motorcycle racing community.”

On Friday in Norwak, progress was evident in the Reed camp after Cory ran a 6.952 and Gladstone posted a 6.968 best. Both riders are solidly qualified but Reed believes both bikes have the ability to crack the top half of the field.

“We are closer to where we want to be but we aren’t there yet,” Reed said. “I missed the first run on my bike and that set us back a little. We really needed that data. I think we could have run about 6.88 if we had been quicker in the first sixty-feet.”