Ryan Reed celebrated his 24th birthday Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Reed’s birthday started on a high note with a fourth-place qualifying effort, but late in the race a wreck unfolded in front of him and with nowhere to go his day was cut short 18 laps short of the finish. Ryan Reed was credited with a 33rd-place finish in his No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford.
“Well, it’s not exactly how I wanted the race to go,” said Reed. “We had a great run in qualifying and started with excellent track position, but I got spun mid race and that took us off our original pit strategy. We were working our way back when that last accident happened and there just wasn’t anything I could do. I hate it for my team, we’ll move past it and look forward to Bristol.”
Severe weather washed away any practice time on Friday for the XFINITY Series, causing NASCAR to add a 45-minute session to the schedule for Saturday morning. Reed made a few laps in the morning practice session and was feeling good about his No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford. In qualifying afternoon, Reed advanced to the final round and clinched the fourth starting spot for 75-laps Saturday afternoon.
Over the opening Stage Reed reported that he was losing grip as the run went on. Despite multiple cautions and a red flag, Reed was able to hang on to close out Stage 1 from the fourth position. The goal was to complete the race on just one pit stop, so Reed stayed out on track to lead the field to the green flag for Stage 2.
Reed lost a few positions to fresher tires as Stage 2 progressed and on lap 32 got spun by another competitor. Reed worried his grille was packed with debris and brought the Lilly Diabetes Ford down pit road for tires prior. The pit stop came a few laps before the target lap to complete the race on one pit stop. Reed returned to the track to pick up a few positions and close out Stage 2 29th.
Reed took the flag for the final Stage 25th and had worked his way up to 14th before getting collected in another accident. Reed was back on track after two trips down pit road body repair. Reed restarted 30th and was gaining ground when another wreck unfolded in front of him. This time around he had nowhere to go and the damage to his Ford was beyond repair. Reed’s day ended early after a promising start.