Reed Advances to The Round of Eight with 12th-Place Finish at Charlotte
CONCORD, N.C. (October 7, 2017) – Ryan Reed drove his No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford to a 12th-place finish Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, securing a position in the round of eight in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoff standings. Rain delayed the race from daytime to evening and despite having a loose handling Ford was able to put himself in position to advance. Three races remain before the Playoff field is cut down to four drivers contending for the Championship in the 2017 season finale.
“I think that’s about as great of a points battle as you could ask for, especially for the first elimination race,” said Reed. “I felt like it was just a great race. I thought there were moments where I was really confident we were done. We ended up fighting a really loose race car late in that run and we were dropping like a rock and we got a gift with that caution for oil.. We came in and put tires on it and the team made the right adjustments. It went from being a 25th-place car to being a 12th or as we were catching guys there maybe even a top-10 car.
“Huge gains, just battled through it, persevered. I think as a driver to see your race team dig deep like that it just motivates you and so them giving me that opportunity gave me that extra motivation to go out there and lay it all out on the line, make those kind of all-in moments like the three-wide pass with William and Brendan. Those are kind of the defining moments, I feel, whether or not you advance in this deal or not.”
Rain wreaked havoc on what should have been a Saturday afternoon race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. A persistent mist forced NASCAR to cancel qualifying, setting the starting lineup by owner’s points which, lining Reed up 11th. The scheduled day race turned into a night race and Reed had his hands full right from the start with a Ford Mustang that was loose late exit of the turns.
Reed spent the first two Stages of the race with a car that was loose exiting the turns, costing him valuable time on the track. Adjustments on routine stops helped, but never was quite enough. Reed’s Lilly Diabetes pit crew gained him positions every stop, which offset the handling challenges on the track.
While running 12th with 60 laps remaining, Reed came over the radio and thought he may have a tire going down since the handling had gone to “wrecking loose.” Luckily, a caution came out on the track and gave the team a chance to assess the situation. The tires were not flat, so Reed pitted for just fuel. Unfortunately, when the field resumed green flag racing the set of tires continued to not agree with the Lilly Ford.
Reed lost multiple positions until another caution on the track led to an additional opportunity to pit for their final set of sticker tires. Reed pitted for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment then took the green 15th with 34 laps remaining. Reed raced his way to 12th and held off a late charging competitor to claim the final cutoff position in the Playoff standings.
About Lilly Diabetes
Lilly has been a global leader in diabetes care since 1923, when we introduced the world’s first commercial insulin. Today we are building upon this heritage by working to meet the diverse needs of people with diabetes and those who care for them. Through research and collaboration, a wide range of therapies and a continued determination to provide real solutions—from medicines to support programs and more—we strive to make life better for all those affected by diabetes around the world. For more information, visit www.lillydiabetes.com or follow us on Twitter: @LillyDiabetes.