Ford Performance NASCAR Notes and Quotes
NASCAR XFINTY SERIES
Virginia 529 College Savings 250 – Richmond International Raceway
Friday, September 9, 2016
Ryan Reed, driver of the No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang can clinch his spot in the inaugural XFINITY Series Chase tonight at Richmond. Reed spent yesterday visiting with local veterans, including those living with diabetes and discussed that experience, his Chase scenario and more.
RYAN REED, No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang – YOU WERE AT A MEDICAL CENTER YESTERDAY. WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO GO INTERACT WITH FANS THAT CAN’T GET OUT TO THE RACE TRACK? “It was pretty special. I have never been up there. The place is huge. I couldn’t believe the sheer size of the place. We toured it and it took an hour and a half and we didn’t see the whole place. It is an amazing facility with a lot of technology. It was cool to hang out but even more cool to hang out with a lot of those veterans. A lot of those guys are huge race fans and know a lot about racing. It is cool to see how much the sport means to them but also hear their stories and hear what they have done for our country. It was a huge honor to go meet those guys and go see their reaction of us going there. It was very memorable for me personally. Also, there are 25-percent of veterans living with diabetes and living with diabetes myself it is a big connection. They have a whole diabetes unit there and I got to meet the veterans living with diabetes which made it personally special. It was a really cool trip.”
ANY INTERACTION STAND OUT TO YOU? “You aren’t going to sit there and talk to a veteran and not pay attention. But there was one guy that came up and was talking to me and we were signing autographs and he knew everything about racing you could know. He talked to us for probably 20 minutes about the Chase and where we were at in points and if I was stressed out. He probably knew more about where we were at in points than I do. He was on it as far as his racing knowledge. It was cool to see just how many race fans there were there. As a race car driver, when you can talk racing with somebody it makes the conversation feel a little easier.”
YOU HAVE THE CHANCE TO CLINCH A SPOT IN THE CHASE TONIGHT EVEN WITHOUT A WIN. HOW DOES THAT CHANGE YOUR APPROACH? “About six weeks ago we had a string of bad races and felt like we weren’t safe as far as the Chase goes. We put our head down and clicked off a few top-10 and top-5 finishes and finished 13th and Darlington which was mediocre but a decent points day. I wasn’t even paying attention to points. I knew we were in a good position but I guess we are about 70 points to the good. I think we are right there. We can clinch it tonight. I was in here when Carl (Edwards) was up here talking a few minutes ago and you can be more aggressive and try things. We had an experimental practice this morning and tried some things. Looking ahead to Phoenix, if we can get that far, this is a place we can learn some stuff for there. We tried a lot this morning. I feel we had a productive practice. We want to get ourselves clinched in tonight but even if we don’t we feel we are in a good spot to go out there and get after it and go for a good run and maybe even go for a win. Obviously even if we do get clinched in wins are going to help us once we get into the Chase.”
HAS IT GOTTEN EASIER FOR YOU TO CONTROL YOUR BLOOD SUGAR DURING RACES OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS? “I think if you talk to anyone living with diabetes, regardless of your occupation, your day to day life is your day to day life. Race car driving is my day to day life, fortunately. I don’t know if it comes easier or is more effortless but it becomes more of a routine. Something that gets a little more comfortable. Technology keeps advancing and things get more reliable and more accurate. When it comes to watching your blood sugar, something that is so pivotal for your day to day health, how you feel and your energy levels, it affects you in so many ways. How reliable the equipment and technology is really important. I think between more and more technology that becomes more reliable it helps me manage it and makes my life easier and I feel a little better too.”
YOU GO TO CHICAGO NEXT, WHERE DO YOU FEEL YOUR PROGRAM IS STRONGER? SHORT TRACKS, INTERMEDIATES? “I feel like we are bringing better race cars to the 1.5 mile tracks. Short tracks I feel like we have the least amount of speed and balance at short tracks. We have a long way to go there. That being said, we have made some progress at short tracks at places. I am really looking forward to going to Chicago and to Kentucky. We had a really fast car there and had a mechanical problem earlier in the year. I think we can contend for a win there and for sure have a solid top-10 day and put ourselves in position. I feel like our 1.5-mile stuff is pretty good. I feel like our high, max grip stuff like Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan is where our stuff is probably the best. I would say Kentucky and Kansas are probably our best places to get a win in the Chase. Chicago and Charlotte I feel like we can put ourselves in position for a good finish there as well.