In his Sprint Cup debut Roush Fenway driver Ryan Reed brought his No. 99 Lilly Diabetes/American Diabetes Association Ford Fusion home in 26th-place at Talladega Superspeedway. In a race where survival is often key, Reed’s car finished the race without a scratch to be seen as the young driver drove a mistake-free race, exercising the patience of a veteran during the course of the 188-lap event that often including three and four-wide racing.
“Today meant so much to me,” said Reed after the race. “I truly hope I was able to earn some respect out there. We always want a better finish than 26th, but with no mistakes and not a scratch on the car we’ll take that here at Talladega.”
Reed started the race 18th, after a solid qualifying effort on Saturday. He would run as high as 12th, after patiently working his way to the front for a restart on lap 153. However, drafting partners were in short demand for the debuting driver and he was eventually shuffled back through the field.
“Nobody really wanted to work with me there at the end and we just couldn’t seem to get going on the top line,” added Reed. “Still, I learned so much out there and I just want to thank (crew chief) Phil (Gould) and all the guys for giving me a great car and putting us in position to really make a move at the end.”
Reed will return to action in two weeks in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Texas Motor Speedway. He is currently only two points outside of the top four in the XFINITY Chase, with two races remaining before the series champion is decided in the season finale at Homestead.