DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Roush Fenway Racing?s Ryan Reed earned an 18th-place finish in the opening race of the season and his first race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday.
?It was a battle all day,? Reed said. ?We went a lap down and the guys did a good job getting me back on the lead lap. I can?t thank Seth [Barbour] and the guys enough for that. I thought we were going to have a good shot for at least a top-15, but the bottom lane just gave up. The Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang was fast and if we could have had some better track position, I think we could have had a better run.?
The NASCAR Nationwide Series race rolled off under cloudy skies. Due to an accident in NASCAR?s new qualifying format, the No. 16 started 39th.
Reed wasted little time moving through the pack in his American Diabetes Association Drive to Stop DiabetesSM presented by Lilly Diabetes Ford. By Lap 8, Reed was up to 24th, radioing to the crew that the car was drafting well.
The team visited pit road for the first stop of the day for fuel only on Lap 11. Reed restarted 22nd and again began climbing his way through the pack.
Crew Chief Seth Barbour called Reed down pit road for a scheduled green flag pit stop on Lap 52. The team opted for four tires and fuel. Reed was too fast exiting the pits, forcing the driver to serve a pass through penalty on pit road under the green flag.
The caution flag flew again on Lap 69, with Reed one spot away from the free pass position. The team decided to take the wave around, in order to get back on the lead lap.
The No. 16 continued to draft in the top-20 for the rest of the afternoon. Reed ultimately closed out his first restrictor place race in 18th. The No. 16 Ford Mustang sustained heavy damage after crossing the finish line. Reed was treated and released from infield care.