JOLIET, Ill. (July 20, 2014) – Roush Fenway Racing rookie Ryan Reed visited Chicagoland Speedway for the first time Saturday for a race under the lights. The rookie had a strong car with competitive lap times for the entirety of the race, but untimely cautions left the American Diabetes Association Drive to Stop DiabetesSM presented by Lilly Diabetes team with a 15th-place finish. The finish is Reed’s eighth top-15 finish of the season.
“I know we had a much stronger car than our finish showed,” said Reed. “These guys built me a really strong Drive to Stop Diabetes Mustang. Unfortunately, we got behind pretty early on that long green flag run, and with the way the cautions fell, we were never able to make it up. You’ll have nights like these sometimes. We’ll take it and move on to Indy.”
Reed rolled off 14th for the 200-lap, 300-mile event at Chicagoland Speedway. On the opening run of the race, Reed settled into the top-15, with a car that started the run a little too loose and ended the run too tight.
On Lap 56, Crew Chief Seth Barbour radioed his driver down pit road for the first stop of the day, opting for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Immediately after returning to the track, Reed informed the crew that the adjustment had helped, telling the team that he believed his Mustang was pretty good.
The opening, long green flag run dropped the No. 16 team off the lead lap. On the ensuing run, Reed raced his way into position for the free pass. During the second round of green flag pit stops, Reed visited pit road for four tires, fuel and no adjustments, as the driver was happy with his Mustang’s handling.
The green flag pit stops knocked Reed out of the free pass position, when the caution flag finally flew. The rookie driver spent the remainder of the race racing for the free pass position. Unfortunately, the cautions did not fall in favor of the No. 16 team, leaving Reed in 15th as the checkered flag flew.
With the finish Reed remains 10th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series point standings. He returns to action next weekend in the Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Catch the race live on ESPN at 4:30 pm ET on Saturday, July 26.