From the Driver’s Seat with Ryan Reed: Turning the Corner

By Ryan Reed, NASCAR XFINITY Series Driver

After the last two weeks, I finally feel like our luck and season are starting to turn around and we have some momentum going. I would have loved to keep that momentum going this weekend, but it’s another off week for the NASCAR XFINITY Series. I will be heading to Charleston for some R&R.  Charleston is probably one of my favorite getaway spots that’s in driving distance from Charlotte – tons of awesome places to eat and I just love being at the beach.

We had some really good things happen the past couple of weeks. Our car was super fast in Michigan. We had our best qualifying effort we have ever had there and for the first time in a few weeks we didn’t have anything crazy happen to us in the race. Our car wasn’t the best in race mode and we had trouble passing once we got in traffic. Overall, I’m really proud with how that race went and feel like it’s a step in the right direction.

Iowa really built on the momentum of Michigan. We didn’t unload as good as I would have liked, but we made improvements throughout practice to get the car to where it needed to be. We finished 11th, which is a career-best there and I will take it. We feel confident those top-10 finishes will come soon, especially with Daytona up next for us.

Aside from the track, we announced something really cool this past Monday. We unveiled our Darlington throwback paint scheme with the help of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison and NASCAR’s first officially licensed artist, Sam Bass. The red, white and blue scheme mimics Bobby Allison’s 1975 scheme that he won both races at Darlington with that year. Sam helped adapt the scheme to our No. 16 Lilly Diabetes/American Diabetes Association Ford and will be painting Lilly Diabetes’ 140th Anniversary logo on the decklid live at Darlington during race weekend. Sam lives with diabetes like me and helped design my first paint scheme back in 2013. I can’t wait to get the car on track and hope I make Bobby proud!

My team had the chance to visit Victory Junction Camp on Tuesday night for Diabetes Week. It’s amazing what the Petty Family has built in Adam’s memory and it’s so humbling to go hang out with the kids. I’m really glad they added Diabetes Week to the schedule since it’s such a great tie-in to our Drive to Stop Diabetes program. We try not to talk too much about diabetes to the kids and just focus on having a great time together, which we did. It’s really special to be able to share that experience with my team and see the guys let loose and dance with the kids. I attempted to trade places with my pit crew and jack the car for a pit stop, but I think I will stick to driving.

Hope you will tune-in to watch our Roush Fenway teammates take on Sonoma on Sunday! For me, it’s off to the beach!

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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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