Reed And Team Aim For Consistent Sophomore Season
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 20, 2015) – With one full season in NASCAR’s XFINITY series under his belt, Ryan Reed returns to the site of his first career top-five finish and best finish of 2014 at the high banks of Daytona International Speedway with one goal in mind – consistency. Reed’s rookie season ended with a ninth-place finish in the point standings, but not the week-to-week outcome he and the team knew they were capable of achieving.
“It is obvious from our success last year at some of the toughest tracks on the circuit – Daytona and Talladega – that we have what it takes to run well in the XFINITY series,” said Reed. “Our goal is to finish in the top-10 every week and we know if we can do that then the wins will come. Having (crew chief) Seth (Barbour) and a lot of our same people back this season as well as the support of the American Diabetes Association and Lilly Diabetes will allow us to pick up and expand where we left off in 2014.”
Barbour returns to the role of crew chief for the 2015 season and is joined on the pit box by team engineer Katelyn Bernasconi. Bernasconi, a University of North Carolina – Charlotte engineering graduate and former racer herself, comes to Roush Fenway from her role as a project engineer in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
The Barbour-led team will take to the track for two practice sessions on Friday, Feb. 20 and start the day off Saturday, Feb. 21 with group qualifying. NASCAR amended the rules for the XFINITY Series’ group qualifying format this week, cutting the originally allotted time for each session in half. The No. 16 team will prepare to make it through all three sessions and secure a top starting spot for Saturday’s afternoon race.
“We hope that the qualifying draw will put us in a group with our teammates so that we can work together in the draft,” said Barbour. “We expect that with the sessions being shortened to just two and a half minutes that we will only have time to run two laps. It will be important for us to post a fast qualifying lap to have a good starting position on Saturday and avoid being collected in any early-race incidents.”
Reed’s experience on restrictor plate tracks has been minimal but impressive. He led a total of 29 laps in Talladega’s May race in addition to his fourth-place start and finish in Daytona’s July race. Saturday’s race will be Reed’s third race at Daytona and fourth at a restrictor plate track.
Qualifying for Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY series race will air on FOX Sports 1 on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 12:15 p.m. ET.
The NASCAR XFINITY Series season opener from DIS will air on FOX Sports 1 on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 3:30 p.m. ET.