Roush Fenway Racing (RFR) rookie, Ryan Reed finished 15thin the third race of NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday.
“It was a long day,” said Reed. “We battled a super loose race car, especially in traffic. The goal today, after the last couple of weeks, was to keep all the fenders on it and we accomplished that mission. We’re not a 15th-place team and I think that we’ll continually show that throughout the year, but this is race number three and we’ve got a long way to go in this season. We’ll keep plugging away at it. Roush Fenway is building some fast Ford Mustangs and I know we’ll be up there soon.”
For the second week in a row, the No. 16 American Diabetes Association Drive to Stop DiabetesSM presented by Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang rolled off 15th.
In the opening laps of the race, Reed battled an extremely loose race car, settling into the top-20. He radioed to the crew that if the car had a little more forward bite, that the No. 16 would be pretty good.
Crew Chief Seth Barbour radioed his driver down pit road for the first stop of the day under green flag conditions on Lap 54. The team opted for four fresh Goodyear tires, two cans of Sunoco fuel and a track bar adjustment to help the handling.
Shortly after Reed exited pit road, the caution flag flew. Barbour called his driver back down pit road for a fuel only pit stop.
After the restart on Lap 68, Reed radioed to the team that the car was still too loose. He remained in 18th for the majority of the run, until green flag pit stops began.
The No. 16 entered pit road for the third time of the day in 13th on Lap 119. The pit crew changed four tires, added fuel and made a track bar adjustment. He returned to the track in 19th.
The caution flag flew again on Lap 148, with Barbour deciding to leave the No. 16 on the track in order to take the wave around, and gain one lap back. When the race resumed green flag action, Reed informed the team that the handling of his Ford Mustang was much better.
The rookie visited pit road for the final time of the day on Lap 161, for four tires, fuel and a rubber out of the right rear.
Reed restarted the race in 15th, and remained there for the rest of the race, earning his best finish of the 2014 season.