Ryan Reed drove his No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford to a sixth-place finish Saturday afternoon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Lilly Diabetes 250. The sixth-place finish is Reed’s best finish at the famed 2.5-mile track.
“That’s not bad, a sixth-place finish at a track that hasn’t been good to us in the past,” said Reed. “It’s really cool to get Lilly Diabetes a strong run at the Lilly Diabetes 250. It’s always nice when you can put on a good show for your sponsor. They’ve done so much and Indianapolis is so important to them and their heritage that it’s just a really cool day. I got to work with Cole (Custer) a lot, pushing each other, and got some Ford united power there.”
Reed started the race from the 10th position, his best qualifying effort to date at Indianapolis. Right from the start Reed gained positions on track, until a tight condition developed. NASCAR called for a competition caution for the field 15 laps into the 100-lap event. Reed took advantage of the caution to pit for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. The adjustment was a step in the right direction and Reed closed out Stage 1 13th.
During the stage break crew chief Phil Gould brought Reed down pit road for just two tires, fuel and additional adjustments. The two-tire call gained Reed track position, setting him up ninth for the restart. Reed held his ground in the top 10 over the course of Stage 2 and with another strategy call by Gould, came down pit road three laps shy of the stage end to pit for four tires and fuel. Reed closed out Stage 2 32nd, but as the rest of the field pitted he cycled up to seventh.
Reed took the green flag for the final stage and never looked back. Reed drafted with a fellow Ford teammate and worked his way forward, narrowly missing a top-five finish in the Lilly Diabetes 250.