Drag Illustrated Issue 182, May / June 2023 - Page 48


The Road to Recovery

Cory Reed discusses his efforts to recover from a brutal Pro Stock Motorcycle crash in 2021 By Kayla Zadel

Cory Reed ’ s epic crash in 2021 might be a memory of the past for some , but for the drag racer who made his debut in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class in 2015 , it ’ s something he ’ s still recovering from nearly two years later .

The dramatic incident has been named one of the worst crashes in Pro Stock Motorcycle racing . During second-round eliminations , Reed collided with his teammate , Joey Gladstone , at the DeWalt NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord , North Carolina . Reed suffered from a compound fracture of his left leg above the ankle and a broken shoulder after crossing into Gladstone ’ s lane , flipping his bike , and tumbling between the guard wall and his motorcycle .
Reed is still on his road to recovery and his
eighth surgery . The Colorado native explained how his once severely broken leg is being stretched to match his right leg due to bone loss from infection .
“ I have a halo-fixator back on my leg to make it grow about an inch . I wasn ’ t great but getting around decent ,” says Reed , hoping this will be the last surgery . “ My leg being shorter messed my hips up , and then it started giving me a little scoliosis in my back . My ankle is fused , so that ’ s pretty much all they can do for my leg .”
“ I ’ ve got probably 30 to 40 days of adjusting this thing that ’ s on my leg to get it to grow and then six weeks to heal and then back to physical therapy , just to start walking again ,” continues Reed .
However , he remains hopeful about racing again after the horrific scene on September 19 , 2021 . As a matter of fact , he ’ s finding motivation by continuing to work on his and Gladstone ’ s bike , even after his hopes of racing at the 2023 Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals came and went because of a delay on the new
Suzuki bodywork .
“ If we would have had all [ the bodywork ], I would have raced Gainesville and then had my surgery ,” explains Reed . “ Then maybe even waited until later for the surgery in the season to hopefully race again .”
For now , Reed is relying on his support system , which is his family and his wife . “ She ’ s with me every day , taking care of me and cleaning up after me ,” says Reed .
Another staple in Reed ’ s recovery is Gladstone , who also races under the Reed Motorsports banner . Reed and Gladstone became fast friends and then quickly became each other ’ s adopted family . “ We ’ re closer than blood ,” states Gladstone . “ Joey and I see each other every day , check on each other all the time , and take care of each other throughout everything ,” says Reed , referring to Gladstone ’ s crash during testing a nitrousequipped Suzuki in 2021 , where he suffered multiple injuries .
“ It ’ s mostly mental support more than any-
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