Chad Reed Races Stock Car At Hickory Motor Speedway
Chad Reed raced his stock car at the Hickory Motor Speedway, just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina this past weekend. Chronic MX was there, inside pit row, to report the action. The speedway, which is celebrating 61 years of stock car racing, is loaded with auto racing history and is aptly nicknamed ‘the birthplace of NASCAR stars’. Motocross legend Chad Reed was one of over twenty racers competing in this year’s Pepsi Fall Brawl.
Reed recently announced his return to motocross racing, following a season ending injury at the 2012 Dallas Supercross, where he suffered a fractured tibia/fibula, torn ACL, two broken ribs and a broken T6 vertebra. Reed’s injury had him sidelined for the remainder of the 2012 supercross season and the entire 2012 outdoor motocross season. Reed is now healed up and back on his bike. He made a surprise appearance one week ago at a local motocross race in Dade City, Florida, where he raced against retired MX legend Timmy Ferry and won. Prioe to arriving at the speedway, Reed spent the earlier part of the week training mx with JGR’s Justin Brayton and riding mountain bikes throughout various North Carolina trails.
Reed seemed in good spirits at the Speedway and excited for another opportunity to gain experience behind the wheel of a race car. Reed made his first appearance at this speedway earlier this year by pairing up with Fat Head Racing/Marcos Ambrose Motorsports in May. Many motocross stars have tried their luck with auto racing, including Travis Pastrana, Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart, just to name a few. Reed’s wife Ellie, and their two children, watched anxiously from the media box as Reed geared up for the 200 lap race. Reed raced in the “Late Model class”, which was certainly no ’beginners’ class. As a matter of fact, household auto racing names such as “Fittipaldi, Fields and Stricklin” were among the roster of entries in the class.
It was a bit odd to see the motocross superstar geared up in his racing suit. At Chronic MX we are all about motocross…so being on the asphalt in ‘pit row’ and hearing the tremendous roar of the race car engines made us feel like we were “fish out of water”. But racing is still racing…and there was no shortage of intense excitement. As the green flag dropped, Chad Reed zoomed by at 140+ mph. He started near the tail end of the pack, but by lap 75 Reed had slowly worked his way past numerous competitors. At one point Reed almost broke into the top ten of the field of 22 racers. There were many yellow flags though, especially with track conditions still fairly slick following a major downpour earlier in the day. Unfortunately, even our own video equipment became victim to the torrential rain. Reed himself found a slick spot on the tarmac and spun in the back-turn, bringing out one of the dozens of yellow flags.
Racers were definitely not shy, as their aggressive tactics left scars all over Reed’s car…a dented hood, scraped sides and a damaged rear, made it clear that there was certainly a lot of contact taking place at very high speeds. Following the 180 lap signal, the speedway began to shake as the racers sprinted in an all out dog fight towards the 200 lap finish. Drivers seemed to be going for those aggressive passes they had been waiting for the entire race. On lap 197…just minutes from the finish, with David Garbo and Pietro Fittipaldi trading places for the win… misfortune struck Reed’s #22 car. Three of the 5 lug nuts on his front right wheel literally snapped off, producing enough headshake to rattle the fences. Reed coasted up high along the wall, immediately bringing out the yellow flag, while his car vibrated and weaved. At a snails pace Reed’s car crawled back around to pit row, ending his race for the night.
Pietro Fittipaldi took the checkered flag for the win just minutes later. Reed’s incident could have been a lot worse. Lady luck was on Reeds side, as the two remaining lug-nuts kept his wheel from flying off of his race car. Had the wheel come off, Reed certainly could have wrecked into the wall, or flown a tire into the grandstands. We spoke to Chad following the race and though the late race incident was a disappointment, he seemed happy with his overall performance. ”My car gave out before I did, and considering some of the talent I was up against, I’d say it was a successful night”, Reed told Chronic MX. Chad planned to head to California on Monday for more training in preparation for the 2013 supercross season. Check out our PHOTO ALBUM of the race event here: http://www.facebook.com/ChronicMotoX and stay tuned for our video coverage to be released soon. Reporting for Chronic MX, I’m Rocket 88.