Ryan Reed drove a loose-handling No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford to an eighth-place finish Saturday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway. Reed started the race 20th and despite struggling on restarts was able to advance through the field.
“Given the fact that we started 20th I didn’t think that was too bad,” said Reed. “We had to work on it. We felt we had a good car yesterday but today was a lot different conditions. I am proud of the way we battled. We struggled on restarts and I had to get what I could on restarts and go to battle after that. It was a decent showing for the Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang and another top-10. If we can be no worse than top-10 each week we will be right where we want to be.”
Reed started the race 20th after battling a loose-handling Ford in single car qualifying Saturday morning. The loose-handling continued into the start of the race, but despite that Reed worked his way forward to close out stage one 15th. Under the stage break, Reed pitted for two tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.
The two-tire pit strategy set Reed up ninth for the start of stage two, but Reed lost ground on the restart. The loose-handling condition slightly improved over the course of stage two, thanks to the air pressure adjustment. A caution for debris came out three laps shy of the stage two conclusion. Reed visited pit road under caution for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Stage two ultimately ended under caution and as others pitted Reed cycled up to ninth.
Reed took the green flag from the final stage from ninth, but got loose on the restart and fell back to 14th. The No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford improved in the final stage and Reed was able to rebound and race his way back through the field. Reed took the final restart with two laps remaining 10th and was able to gain two positions to cross the finish line eighth.