After working his way up through the racing ranks, Ryan Reed was given the opportunity to show his skills in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night.
The 19-year-old impressed many as he ran up front throughout the night and was battling for fifth before he made contact with the wall late in the race. As a result, he would finish 16th.
“I learned so much to from this Roush Fenway team,” Reed said after the race. “I really wanted to give them a top-10 tonight but it just didn’t happen that way. (Crew chief) Seth (Barbour) and all the guys gave me the best Ford Mustang and I was disappointed as we had the car to beat. I have to say a special thanks to Jack Roush for giving me this opportunity and I’m looking forward to getting back into this car again. I’m so thankful to the American Diabetes Association for coming on board with us to make this happen and show life has no limits.”
The Bakersfield, California native isn’t your normal racecar driver as he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes two years ago. At the time, he was told that he would never be able to race again.
“When I was diagnosed, I was really humbled, especially when they told me I wasn’t going to be able to race again,” he told me last year. “I was devastated and really just, I thought I was invincible and then to learn that my dream was going to be taken away.”
However, once learning about other athletes that continued in their sport after being diagnosed, he worked at learning how to handle the disease while racing.
Last year at Daytona International Speedway, a year after being diagnosed, he made his ARCA Racing Series debut with Venturini Motorsports. In his first 14 starts last year, he had six top 10s and caught the eye of Roush Fenway Racing.
Now, in the Nationwide Series, Reed is looking for success while promoting the American Diabetes Association. Reed will be back in the Nationwide Series later this year at Bristol Motor Speedway in August. Till he runs that event, he will be getting back to his roots running some late model races.