event: 48th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals
when: March 17-19, 2017
where: Gainesville Raceway, Florida, USA
Thrash and Thrill for Gladstone and San Marino
NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Joey Gladstone and bike owner/tuner Joe Riccardi planned on shaking out the bugs and getting in some competitive testing before the 2017 season kicked off in Gainesville. What happened instead is that Gladstone himself was nearly shook off the bike when the San Marino Excavating Suzuki went into a 1000 foot long, slow but violent wobble that broke and shed parts along South Georgia Motorsports Park’s quarter-mile.
An overnight drive-and-thrash to Georgia chassis-master Walt Timblin’s shop put the bike back together again, but after three days of testing (one rained out, one nearly crashed out, and the other too cold to be productive), the team arrived in Florida with no new knowledge to show for their efforts.
So it was shocking even to them when they finished qualifying third in the order of a very competitive field, then absolutely mind-blowing when Gladstone raced the bike into the semifinals.
Joey Gladstone and Joe Riccardi thank 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.
The San Marino Excavating team races next on April 28-30 at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina USA.
This report was prepared by Tim Hailey.