Joey Gladstone Primed for NHRA Carolina Nationals

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Heading into First Countdown to the Championship, Rookie Rider Joey Gladstone Primed for NHRA Carolina Nationals

Joey Gladstone may be in his first full year of Pro Stock Motorcycle competition but he is no stranger to competing on the dragstrip. Making a name for himself in drag racing when he rode for DME Racing on a turbocharged Pro Street Suzuki Hayabusa that possessed close to 700 horsepower, it’s no surprise that Gladstone has had early success on the Joe Riccardi-owned San Marino Excavating Suzuki.

“I expected to be going into Indy in the 11th or 12th spot trying to fight my way into the Countdown to the Championship because the class is so stacked with such impressive names,” Gladstone admitted. “The success we had early on in the year kind of gave us enough momentum to stay in the top ten all season and make it into the Countdown.”

In his 17th Pro Stock Motorcycle race of his young career, Gladstone is battling it out with the top names in the NHRA for the Pro Stock Motorcycle world championship. Gladstone is No. 8 as he heads to the first race of the Countdown, the 10th annual NHRA Carolina Nationals.

“A couple of races in, the reality sank in that we could actually do it,” he said about making it into the top ten in his rookie season. “Now that it’s here, it’s a huge deal for me. Where I come from, I spent the last six years with pretty much the fastest bike in my class and I was always thinking about qualifying No. 1 or winning. Now I’m in Pro Stock Motorcycle and it’s humbling; you can’t just come out there and own the thing. Looking at what we’ve done so far in my rookie year, it makes me proud of what we’ve done this season already.”

As a self-proclaimed realist with a hint of optimism, Gladstone has practical goals for his rookie year attempt at the Countdown to the Championship.

“I don’t know if I have a set goal now that I’ve made the Countdown,” he said. “I’m never going to be the person to turn down a position increase so I’m going to try to gain as many positions that I can in these last six races. I’m going to do my best and that’s my goal. I just know what I have to do as a rider and what I expect of myself. I expect to do my job, hit all my shift points, and leave on time. If we go out there and start killing it, that’s fantastic, of course. Everybody wants to be the champion and win but I’m not going out there expecting to win. I’m going out there expecting good showings and to give it my all.”

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE POINT STANDINGS:

  1. LE Tonglet 2100
  2. Eddie Krawiec 2080
  3. Hector Arana Jr. 2070
  4. Jerry Savoie 2060
  5. Matt Smith 2050
  6. Andrew Hines 2040
  7. Scotty Pollacheck 2030
  8. JOEY GLADSTONE 2020
  9. Karen Stoffer 2010
  10. Angie Smith 2000

Carolina Nationals Run Schedule:
Friday, September 15th: two qualifying runs at 2:45 and 5:15 p.m. (ET)
Saturday, September 16th: two qualifying sessions at 12:45 and 3:15 p.m. (ET)
Sunday, September 17th: eliminations begin at 12:00 p.m. starting with Top Fuel.

Carolina Nationals TV Schedule:
Friday, Sept. 15, FS1 will televise one hour of live qualifying coverage at 6 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, Sept. 17, FS1 will televise one hour of qualifying coverage at 2 a.m. (ET).
Sunday, Sept. 17, FS1 will televise three hours of live finals coverage starting at 2:30 p.m. (ET).

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