Ryan Reed was running fifth with 12 laps remaining Saturday afternoon at Chicagoland Speedway when contact with another competitor resulted in a spin and damage to his No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford. Thanks to quick work by his team, Reed stayed on the lead lap despite two pit stops for repairs and was able to hang on in the closing laps to earn a 17th-place finish.
“Everything kind of got jumbled up there on that last restart and the No. 98 and I were going back and forth,” said Reed. “He got on my door pretty hard in 1 and 2 and I had the right front out clear and didn’t expect him to bury on my door as much as he did and we got loose. Overall, it was a decent weekend and I am really excited to go into the playoffs. We showed speed today with our Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang. That is the biggest thing we take away from here going to the Playoffs. Having some confidence in what we’ve got is a big deal.”
Reed made the final round of qualifying Saturday, earning a 10th-place starting position for 200-laps at the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway. Just a few laps after the drop of the green flag, Reed reported back to his team that his Ford was extremely loose. The first Stage of the race consisted of 45 green flag laps and Reed fell back to the 16th due to the loose handling condition.
The team took a big swing at adjustments on a pit stop prior to the start of Stage 2, but about midway through the loose handling returned. Reed was able to work his way up to 14th to close out Stage 2. Crew chief Phil Gould made another call for adjustments during the break and thanks to a fast pit stop by his team, Reed lined up 10th for the final Stage.
The handling started to come to Reed over the final 100 laps of the race. Reed maintained his position racing around 10th and didn’t need any chassis adjustments for handling on pit stops. Reed lined up sixth on the restart with 15 laps to go and raced his way into fifth by lap 188 when contact with another car caused Reed to spin out. The spin brought out the caution for the field and resulted in two trips down pit road for Reed for tires and repairs. Reed took the final green flag from the 17th position and despite the damage to his No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford he was able maintain his position on the lead lap to finish up the race.
The race at Chicagoland concluded pre-season for the NASCAR XFINITY Series and next weekend at Kentucky will kickoff the Championship hunt for the 12 drivers in the Playoff field, including Ryan Reed in his No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford.