Photo: NASCAR Media Group

From the Driver’s Seat with Ryan Reed: Riding the Wave from Daytona

By Ryan Reed, NASCAR XFINITY Series Driver

Daytona was definitely the boost we needed to continue through the summer stretch. After decent runs at Michigan and Iowa, I really think that helped our momentum at Daytona. Our car wasn’t the best I have had at Daytona, but we made the best out of it. While we wanted a win, sixth-place will do. Daytona started a 16-week stretch for the NASCAR XFINITY Series, with no off weekends. Our travel schedule can really wear you down, so this is the part of the year I always make sure that I’m doing everything I can to stay healthy – no sick days in this sport!

With Daytona’s race being on Friday night, I was able to have most of my weekend at home in Charlotte. I spent the 4th of July on the lake with friends and enjoyed a couple of days off before we really dig into the extensive travel schedule the next couple of months.

Kentucky this weekend is kind of a crapshoot for the NASCAR XFINITY Series teams. Because of NASCAR’s no-testing policy, we haven’t been on the track since it was paved in the off season. Our teammates tested there so we are able to use some of their data, but we won’t really know how our cars are going to handle until that first practice session. Greg Biffle says he spun out twice at testing, so it could get really interesting early on when cars hit the track this weekend. I won the ARCA race here last year, but with the repave I’m not sure that gives me any advantage. Either way, our Roush Fenway team has been working on data and simulation for this track for a while now, so I’m confident we will be ready for this weekend.

After Kentucky we head to New Hampshire. I really love that track, but haven’t had great luck there.  I really like visiting that area this time of year – the weather is awesome and I would love to hold up that lobster in Victory Lane – then eat it.

The coming weeks are important for us to carry the momentum from the past weeks and show people we are here to compete. It feels like things are finally falling into place but we just have to keep our heads down, dig hard and hope that luck is on our side.

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Ryan is the driver of the No. 16 Lilly Diabetes/American Diabetes Association Ford Mustang for Roush Fenway Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. A winner at Daytona International Speedway in 2015, Ryan also is a native from Bakersfield, CA and a former Legends Division Track Champion at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. Diagnosed in 2011 with type 1 diabetes, Ryan is leading the charge in the Drive to Stop Diabetes campaign.

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