Reed Finishes 14th at Phoenix

Roush Fenway Racing driver Ryan Reed and the No. 16 Lilly Diabetes/American Diabetes Association team finished 14th on Saturday  at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) after starting 13th and fighting tight conditions throughout the entire race.

“We were just so tight all day, through the center and off the turns,” said Reed. “If we could have just found some turn we would have been really fast. I’m proud of the gains we made from practice Friday to qualifying this morning. We just needed a little more time to finesse our No. 16 Lilly Diabetes/ American Diabetes Association Ford Mustang.” 

The team worked diligently from the time they unloaded on Friday until qualifying on Saturday morning to improve the handling of the No. 16 Ford Mustang. After struggling on the first qualifying run, the team rebounded to make it through the first round of group qualifying and just missed the cutoff to advance to the final round.

Reed rolled off 13th for the 200-lap event at PIR and was scored 12th when the caution was displayed at the end of the first lap. Reed restarted in that position four laps later.

The 22-year-old driver was quiet on the radio until Lap 42 when he reported the car was tight in the center. 15 laps later, the caution was displayed for the second time while Reed was running 13th. The caution gave the team a chance to bring Reed down pit road for fresh tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. Reed restarted 11th on Lap 65 and settled into the 12th position after the restart.

By Lap 84, Reed reported that he was still experiencing tight conditions, especially center-off. The third caution of the race on Lap 95 gave the team another chance to adjust on the No. 16 machine. The team pitted on Lap 97 for fresh tires, a wedge adjustment and fuel. Reed restarted 12th just past the halfway point of the race.

With 75 laps left in the race, Reed held on to the 14th position and told the team he was still experiencing tight conditions. The team made their last pit stop of the day on Lap 177 from the eighth position for fuel only. Reed held his line to bring home a 14th-place finish.

After the fourth NASCAR XFINITY Series race of 2016, Reed is scored eighth in the championship standings, 38 points out of the lead. Reed and the rest of the NASCAR XFINITY Series will return to the track on Saturday, March 19th at Reed’s home track, Auto Club Speedway.