It was a messy, wreck-filled race that featured a red flag, 10 cautions and a big early crash that involved 19 drivers — and Ryan Reed will gladly take it.
Reed steered the No. 16 Roush Fenway Ford Mustang to victory lane Saturday night in the Xfinity season-opening Powershares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway. The 23-year-old claimed his second career win at the superspeedway, after winning the same race to begin the 2015 season.
As he crossed the start-finish line, yet another wreck collected the pack of cars behind him, in keeping with the theme of the day.
“It’s Daytona,” said Cole Custer, who was knocked out of the race by the first big collision just 23 laps in, via FOX Sports. “You’re gonna have this all the time.”
However the win came, it had to feel rewarding to Reed, who at 17 was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and told it was unlikely he would ever race again. The Lilly Diabetes sponsor logo he sports on his car’s hood is a constant remind of all he has overcome.
In addition to keeping his car in one piece, Reed also had to fend off a run by veteran Cup driver Kasey Kahne in the final laps. The fourth-year Xfinity driver held off Kahne, who finished second, as well as Cup racers Brad Keselowski and Austin Dillon, to earn the victory.
Thumbnail photo via Peter Casey/USA TODAY Sports Images