ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 22, 2014) – Roush Fenway Racing rookie Ryan Reed made his first NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) road course start this weekend at Road America. The rookie ran a solid race, spending the majority of the day inside the top-10. The final caution did not fall in the team’s favor, forcing the driver to pit road and ultimately finishing 21st in the No. 16 American Diabetes Association Drive to Stop DiabetesSM presented by Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang.
“The guys gave me a really fast Drive to Stop Diabetes Mustang,” said Reed. “Unfortunately, our finish doesn’t reflect the strong car that we had. I feel like I learned a lot this weekend about racing on road courses. Racing in the rain was wild, too. We’ll take this finish and move on to Kentucky.”
The NNS made its first stop at a road course of the season, travelling to Road America. Rain on Friday eliminated one of the two practice sessions. On Saturday morning teams set the line up with a two round qualifying session. Reed wound up 14th in his Ford Mustang.
A light drizzle delayed the start of the race, as the track was too wet for the normal Goodyear racing tires, but too dry for the Goodyear rain tires. After a brief delay, the race took the green flag. Reed methodically began to work his way through traffic.
When the first caution flag flew on Lap 11, Crew Chief Seth Barbour called his driver down pit road for four tires, fuel and no adjustments. A few cars opted not to pit, putting Reed in 16th for the restart.
The rookie driver again started his march forward, cracking into the top-10 by the next caution on Lap 24. During this caution for weather, NASCAR mandated that all teams come down pit road and put on rain tires. The No. 16 team bolted on four fresh rain tires and added fuel during the stop. Again, the team made no adjustments.
On Lap 28 the field took the green again, this time with rain tires. Reed, restarting 10th, ran a patient race and continued to march his way forward, climbing up to sixth by Lap 30. When the caution flag waved on Lap 37, Barbour opted to have his driver stay out, informing him that the rain tires were showing very little wear.
Reed restarted ninth on Lap 40, but worked his way up to sixth by Lap 41. The caution flag was again displayed with two laps remaining, forcing the race into overtime. Due to the added laps, Barbour was forced to call Reed down pit road on Lap 50 for a fuel only pit stop. Reed would ultimately finish the day in 21st.
John R. Elliott Hero Campaign 300 Presented by Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway
Friday, June 27, 2014
7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN and PRN