Ryan Reed closed out the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series season eighth in the driver standings following his 20th-place finish in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Reed had a fast No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford, but was assessed a pass through penalty after avoiding a car sideways in front of him at the start of the race. A caution never fell his way to get back on the lead lap.
“We probably had our best car of the season tonight,” said Reed. “It’s extremely frustrating to get trapped a lap down with what could have been our best car of the season. I did what I had to do on that restart to avoid a big wreck and then had to serve a penalty. It’s frustrating, but the speed we had was promising and we’ll put in some hard work over the off season and come back next year in position to be racing for the Championship.”
Reed’s No. 16 was extremely tight in qualifying Saturday morning, resulting in a 15th-place starting position. Things took a turn for the worse at the drop of the green flag. The car ahead of Reed jumbled the restart and had himself sideways. Reed had to go around the car to avoid wrecking his Ford, but NASCAR does not allowing passing prior to the start/finish line. Reed was assessed a pass through penalty for passing prior to the start/finish line.
Reed served the penalty under green flag racing just a few laps in, resulting in him going a lap down to the leaders early on in the race. Reed spent a majority of Stage 1 in the “lucky dog” position, but the leader passed a few other cars right before the conclusion of the Stage.
The same scenario from Stage 1 played out over Stage 2 and Reed was once again left one lap down to the field. The race consisted of long green flag runs and a caution never fell in Reed’s favor. Despite having a No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford that was running lap times competitive with the top 10, Reed was trapped off the lead lap.