Ryan Reed Prepares for Sprint Cup Debut at Talladega

By David Morgan, NASCAR Contributor

With the NASCAR Xfinity Series taking a couple of weeks off before getting back in action at Texas in November, Roush-Fenway Racing driver Ryan Reed will be taking the opportunity to test the waters in the Sprint Cup Series this weekend as he will be making his debut in NASCAR’s premier series by attempting to make the field for Sunday’s Hellmann’s 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Reed will bring the No. 99 car back to the Sprint Cup Series for the first time since Carl Edwards left for Joe Gibbs Racing at the end of the 2014 season and will have Lilly Diabetes on board as a sponsor as well. Reed’s NASCAR Xfinity Series crew chief Phil Gould will also serve as his crew chief at Talladega as they attempt make the 40 car field.

“I can’t wait to get to Talladega.  To be this close to achieving a goal of mine is huge.  I know our Lilly Diabetes/American Diabetes Association team has been working really hard to bring a stout piece to the track.  Our goal is to go out there and keep our nose clean, run all of the laps, earn some respect and hopefully be in contention for a solid finish at the end,” said Reed.

In his three previous starts at Talladega in the Xfinty Series, Reed hasn’t had the best of luck, with finishes of 24th, 32nd, and 31st over the past three years, but has found superspeedway success at Daytona. In his six starts at Daytona, Reed has one win (2015), two top-five finishes, three top-10 finishes and an average finish of 9.7.

The first obstacle for Reed will be to qualify for Sunday’s race, which will involve 43 cars vying for 40 starting spots and will take place on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 pm ET. If Reed is able to qualify, Sunday’s Hellmann’s 500 at Talladega will kick off at 2:00 pm ET.

“For anyone that has ever had the chance to get behind the wheel of a race car, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is the ultimate goal,” said Reed.

“To realize that dream and to have been able to do it by properly managing my diabetes means a lot to me and the people that have stood beside me. My goal is to qualify for the race, have a strong performance and continue to show people that with the proper management and support team you can overcome the obstacles in front of you – even diabetes – and accomplish your dreams.”

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.

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