Koretsky Wins First Wally; Sampey Survives at zMAX
Everyone in sight of Cory Reed’s accident in Pro Stock Motorcycle held their breathe Sunday afternoon, as one of the scariest moments of the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season unfolded after he and his teammate crossed paths. As the pair crossed the finish line in the quarterfinal round of the DeWalt Tool NHRA Carolina Nationals, Reed’s bike began to pull toward Joey Gladstone in the right-hand lane. Once the bikes touched at high speed, Reed was promptly launched airborne and tumbled wildly with his Reed Motorsports Suzuki Hayabusa at the zMax Dragway in Concord, NC.
Gladstone, who himself had been hospitalized earlier this season with multiple injuries, hurried to Reed’s side. Conscious and alert, Reed insisted his friend stay at the track and finish his race day as the Safety Safari transported him to a nearby hospital. In a great deal of pain from a compound fracture to his leg and a fractured shoulder, Reed was reported to be in good spirits. Gladstone went on eliminate points leader Steve Johnson in the semifinal, but Johnson’s bike went out of control coming within inches. However, a runner-up finish to Angelle Sampey allowed Gladstone to advance to sixth in Countdown points.
Angelle Sampey Claims an Emotional Countdown Win
Once everyone caught his or her breathe following Cory Reed crashing into teammate Joey Gladstone during eliminations, crews and drivers immediately got back to work in figuring out how to take home the most points and a Wally at the end of the day. Angelle Sampey qualified second and the Louisiana native won over Ryan Oehler, Andrew Hines, and Eddie Krawiec to help her advance to the finals to face Joey Gladstone.
When the Pro Tree went green, Sampey was gone and inherited a win over Gladstone when his bike shut off after the kill switch came unplugged. It was an emotional win the Louisiana native who has been living in the middle of hurricane damage. As her first win of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing season, it was the 44th of her career. It was Gladstone’s second career runner-up finish. Suzuki’s Steve Johnson left Charlotte with the points lead. Angelle Sampey is seventeen points behind followed by Matt Smith (-30) and Eddie Krawiec (-39).
Koretsky Wins Pro Stock Wally to Defy Anderson’s Record Bid
Last weekend at the Mopar Express Lane Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, Greg Anderson tied the all-time wins record with 97 Pro Stock Nationals, a record held for years by class-legend Warren Johnson. However, this weekend the stars seemed to be aligned for Kyle Koretsky who worked his way to the final round by eliminating Cristian Cuadra, Dallas Green, and local favorite Wally Stroupe. Anderson posted wins against Fernando Cuadra, Troy Coughlin Jr, and Erica Enders enroute to a matchup with Koretsky.
The veteran Anderson looked like the all-time winningest driver in Pro Stock history leaving the tree with a .006-second reaction time to Koretsky’s .011 RT. Although the driver of the HendricksCars.com Chevrolet Camaro clocked in with the faster speed at 208.20 mph. It was Kyle Koretsky’s day and a 6.629 ET to Anderson’s 6.639 elapsed time earned him his first-ever career Pro Stock Wally. Anderson will have to wait one more weekend for the NHRA Midwest Nationals in St. Louis to break the tie with Warren Johnson.
NHRA Midwest Nationals
The Countdown to the Championship for the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series continues on September 24-26 at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, IL.