Reed Earns 11th-Place Finish In Front Of Hometown Crowd
FONTANA, Calif. (March 21, 2015) – Bakersfield, Calif. native Ryan Reed finished 11th on Saturday in the fifth NASCAR XFINITY Series race of the season at his home track of Auto Club Speedway (ACS).
The team overcame a crash in Friday’s second practice session and an extremely loose-handling car to start the day on Saturday to finish just outside the top-10 in the 200-lap DRIVE4CLOTS.COM 400.
“It started off as a horror story for sure,” said Reed. “Now that I’m out and have a chance to reflect I would have been really upset if I would have finished 20th in front of my hometown crowd. An 11th– place finish isn’t what we come here for but when you see progress you have to at least smile a little bit. The good thing is we know where we need to work on it and where we need to improve, so we’ll just keep going and doing that.”
Much of the final practice session on Friday was spent repairing damage after Reed got into another car’s oil on the track, sending him into the wall and leaving major damage to the right-side of the car. Reed missed the second half of the final practice session as the team made repairs to the No. 16 Lilly Diabetes American Diabetes Association Ford Mustang.
The team’s thorough repairs left Reed with a car that was good enough to make it through all three rounds of knockout qualifying on Saturday morning, putting him in the 12thpostiion to start the race.
Within laps of taking the green flag, Reed reported that the car was extremely loose and he immediately began to lose track position. A debris caution on Lap 32 was a welcomed relief as Crew Chief Seth Barbour brought Reed down pit road to put a spring rubber in the left rear of the car and move the track bar down three rounds. With four fresh tires and a full tank of fuel, Reed restarted in the 17thpostiion on Lap 37.
On the following run, Reed radioed to the team that the car had no grip or forward drive and he was not able to get back on the throttle after coming out of the turns. A Lap 46 caution allowed the team to make more adjustments to the car – this time taking one round of wedge out of the left rear and putting three rounds in the right rear. Reed maintained control of the 17th position for the restart.
By Lap 59, Reed was quiet on the radio and slowly gaining position on the track. As other teams began to cycle through green-flag pit stops, Reed was able to stay out front and lead a lap, earning him a bonus point in the championship standings. The team brought Reed down pit road for his green-flag stop on Lap 81 for fresh tires and to move the track bar down two rounds.
By Lap 109 Reed had moved up to the 15thposition and reported that the handling of the car had improved. The team’s final pit stop came on Lap 114 for tires and a slight track bar adjustment. Reed was able to move up through the field after the last adjustment, passing several cars to eventually finish 11th.
Reed’s 11th-place finish on Saturday is his second best of the season and is six positions better than his first appearance at ACS in 2014.
He leaves Fontana fourth in the NASCAR XFINITY Series championship standings, 19 behind points-leader Ty Dillon.
With the next two weekends off, Reed and the No. 16 team return to the track for the first night race of the season at Texas Motor Speedway.