Ryan Reed Gathers First Career Win In Mustang At Daytona

No. 16 Lilly/American Diabetes Association Ford Mustang – “First of all, thoughts and prayers go out to Kyle.  I heard that he was hurt in some way, so I hope he’s doing OK.  It was amazing.  I can’t describe the emotions and the feelings that go into the first win – so much hard work and sacrifice from all my guys – Seth and Jack and everyone who stood behind me.  Like I said in Victory Lane, to be diagnosed four years ago with Type 1 Diabetes and to have Lilly Diabetes, American Diabetes Association, Ford, and Roush – everyone who stood behind me through it all – to get our first win at Daytona, get the first XFINITY win, there are just a lot of firsts there and it’s really exciting.”

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SETH BARBOUR, Crew Chief – “Our cars at Roush on the XFINITY side have been fast for a number of years now and they were fast again today.  The goal was to get it up front and keep it up front, and the pit crew did a nice job on the final stop, coming out towards the front.  Ryan did a great job on the restarts keeping it up front and, like I said, the goal was to get it out front and keep it up front all day and Ryan and the pit crew and Joel Edmonds, his spotter, did a great job with that.”

JACK ROUSH, Car Owner – “First of all, I just can’t say how excited I am to be here for the first win.  I’m gonna sit down and make myself a list of all the firsts.  I understand it’s the first XFINITY race that we’ve won at Daytona with a car like this, so that means a lot, but to be here with Ryan and Seth and XFINITY for their first event is just a wonderful thing.  The guys worked hard.  Of course, everybody that’s involved with NASCAR works hard all winter to get ready for the season, but we’ve had good speedway cars for a number of years, like Seth said, and to be able to close the deal and finish one-two tonight is really satisfying.  It’ll be a happy shop in North Carolina on Monday when we’re able to celebrate this as a crew.”

RYAN REED CONTINUED – HOW MUCH CONFIDENCE DOES THIS GIVE YOU?  “It’s no secret we had some challenges last year in my rookie year.  It didn’t go as smooth as we wanted it to, but some kids come out of the gate strong and do great their rookie year and then others have challenges along the way.  I’m perfectly fine with standing up and saying I struggled in some areas and I’m probably still going to struggle in some areas, but this is a huge step in the right direction – a lot of confidence.  Seth did a great job during the off-season keeping me a lot more prepared and keeping me involved and just being a lot more organized.  I think that’s what it takes, it’s those little things at the shop that go a long way.  All the preparation that goes in before the race, a dozen little things added up to a lot this week and I think we’re gonna see that a lot throughout the year.  I think also, too, we’ve made a lot of changes over at Roush Fenway and I can’t thank everyone enough for all the hard work because there was a ton of hard work the guy put in back at the shop and I can’t thank them enough.  They deserve a lot of the credit.  Roush Yates, everyone who has played a part in this deserves a lot of credit.”

JACK ROUSH CONTINUED – “Ryan certainly deserves this.  He’s a role model for a whole generation of Americans that have some kind of a health challenge, and the Type 1 Diabetes affliction that he’s got is something that he’s overcome.  He’s extraordinarily talented.  He demonstrated his ability the first time we put him in a race car at Richmond a couple of years ago, and to be able to be here with him when he realizes his first real success on the race track is just wonderful.  I can’t say enough about how I empathize with the family for their sacrifice and for their efforts to help Ryan get to where he could do what he did tonight.”

RYAN REED CONTINUED – CAN YOU TALK ABOUT CHARLIE KIMBALL AND THE INSPIRATION HE’S BEEN TO YOU?  “To start off with Charlie was a big part of my first experience with Diabetes.  I got diagnosed and the doctor told me I wouldn’t race anymore and Diabetes was gonna keep me from that.  I didn’t know what Diabetes was and I didn’t understand why it was keeping me from racing, so I went back and did some homework and researched Diabetes and athletes that were still competing with Diabetes, and I naturally searched the motorsports side of sports, and I saw Charlie’s story and it talked about his doctor, Anne Peters, who is in Southern California and was about two hours away from where I was living at the time in Bakersfield, California, where I grew up, and I called her.  Right off the bat, Charlie was a part of my story right whenever I was diagnosed, so it’s pretty cool.  To win here and for Charlie to have won here, I think it’s a very special place to motorsports and it’s always a great feeling to win here.  You mentioned my love for the guys, I think over the radio I said ‘I love you’ to all my guys probably 15-20 times just screaming.  There was a lot of emotion.  I can’t thank those guys enough.  They pulled out a few backups last year, and worked some extra hours from my wrongdoing, so I appreciate all their hard work and this makes it all worth it.”

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SETH BARBOUR CONTINUED – WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BIGGEST IMPROVEMENT ROUSH FENWAY RACING HAS HELPED YOU ACHIEVE THAT MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR YOU AND YOUR DRIVER TO WIN THIS RACE? “Like I said in the beginning, our speedway program has always been great at Roush Fenway Racing. I worked as an engineer under Mike Kelly for eight years and he has always done a great job on the speedway program. I owe a lot to him for being here today. Like I said, the speedway cars have been great and that is a credit to the guys at the shop who have hands in it. Anytime you win a speedway race is hats off to everybody back at the shop”

JACK ROUSH CONTINUED – “We shouldn’t let the moment pass without giving credit to Ford Motor Company because they have given us a lot of wind tunnel time and other things that have been beneficial to us with their dedication of resources from Dearborn.”

JACK ROUSH CONTINUED — ARE YOU CONCERNED WITH THE LACK OF A SAFER BARRIER BOTH HERE AND AT OTHER RACE TRACKS? “That sounds like a loaded question. Whenever somebody hits a barrier or an earth mound that is not safer barrier protected you always think an injury could have been avoided. NASCAR and the tracks have done a great job with the research to define a space for the race tracks that will limit injuries and it is unfortunate that Kyle (Busch) hit an area that is probably the first time anyone has wrecked in that particular space there. It is certainly that race tracks are not without risks and drivers have to face the problem of having something happen that somebody didn’t plan for and it is unfortunate when that does occur. I can’t speak for Ryan and the other drivers but in terms of seeing the progress that has been made in making the race tracks safer there has been tremendous progress made in the 28 years I have been involved and I certainly compliment NASCAR on those improvements.”

RYAN REED CONTINUED – “I will second that. I think Jack pretty much hit the nail on the head. NASCAR has done a lot to keep us safe and we have seen improved safety and I am sure they will go back and look at this and if there is an area they can improve on it will be improved on. We hate to see anyone hurt so our thoughts and prayers go out.”

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WITH REGARD TO YOUR DIAGNOSIS, WHAT DID YOU HAVE TO DO TO GET TO THE POINT OF BEING ABLE TO RACE? “I found an amazing doctor, Ann Peters, who stood up and told me we were going to make it happen. She worked closely with NASCAR. It wasn’t an overnight process at all but she taught me a lot about diabetes and helped me understand the disease and that goes a long way toward managing the disease. This is something you have to manage on your own to some extent. It is really awesome to have a doctor who cares that much and is that involved and if I get sick at the race track I can call her and she will stay on the phone with me for hours and do what I need to do to get better to get my blood sugar where it needs to be. All around, I contribute a lot of it to her. Obviously there are more – my family for keeping me positive through some of the darkest days of my life thinking I would never be back in a race car and they were there for me through it all. Then obviously working with Lilly Diabetes and the American Diabetes Association and trying to give back with the Drive to Stop Diabetes program. I feel like if I wouldn’t have had that diagnosis and was told I couldn’t, I may not have taken it so seriously and gotten involved to the level I am today. I try to look at the silver lining and I think we have accomplished a lot through a tough situation.”

RYAN REED CONTINUED — SEVERAL YEARS AGO YOU WENT TO MARTINSVILLE AND QUALIFIED INTO THE RACE AND SHOCKED A LOT OF PEOPLE BECAUSE YOU WEREN’T THAT FAST IN PRACTICE. HOW DID THAT SET YOU UP TO SUCCEED IN THE PRESSURE COOKER TODAY? “I think if you look at my stats, I didn’t run a ton of late model or K&N or ARCA races. I didn’t have the seat time that I feel like some of the other guys have. You haven’t been exposed to some of the situations. Martinsville was a really cool race for me. I went on top of the hauler and there were like 80 cars or whatever trying to qualify and I watched Phillip Morris and it clicked. If you can run 30-40 races a year then great, things are going to click one time or the other where if you are running 12 a year it takes longer to click. A lot clicked last year. We found speed and there were areas I did and still do need to improve on but things started to click at the end of the year. We found speed and I am really confident. This sport is so much based on confidence. This is the way to do that, to start the year with a ton of confidence and get all the guys fired up and just a great way to start the year. Like you mentioned, you have to instinctively know what to do when you get in situations, whether it is on the backstretch at Daytona and you are getting a run on the leader with the white flag coming or if you are just in a bad situation and can see a wreck forming. Those things are developed and they are instincts you have to develop. You can’t think about it. You have to just react sometimes. I was really fortunate to experience a lot last year with a lot of things I have never experienced before and I think it will really help me this year.”

RYAN REED, No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang – VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW “We got shuffled back with about three to go and were on the top with nowhere to go and luckily I ducked in line on the bottom and I was just trying to salvage hopefully a top seven or eight and get a good points day. When they started wrecking on the last lap it put me in position where I was pushing. I ended up getting a huge run on Brad and he was left on an island so I got a huge run on him and really I was hoping I could guess the block. I knew he would take me high and it was just about how quick I could get underneath him. We timed it perfect and here we are.”

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THEN YOU LOOK IN YOUR MIRROR AND HEAR COMES YOUR TEAMMATE AND SOME OTHERS. HOW DID YOU HOLD THEM OFF? “I don’t know. I was about to throw up on the last lap there coming to the line. I saw Chris coming and I knew he would have a big run. I didn’t know whether to block the bottom or top. I can’t thank my spotter Joel enough. He does a great job every week. Like I said, I can’t thank everyone who stood behind me through my Type 1 diabetes diagnosis four years ago. I was told I wouldn’t race and now we are standing in victory lane at Daytona. Thank you Lilly Diabetes, American Diabetes Association, Roush Fenway, Ford and everyont that stood behind us through everything we have been through. It is time to celebrate.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI – No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – “I definitely had too big of a lead.  There’s only so much you can block and the run that the 16 had was just more than I could block without wrecking everybody, so that’s just part of it I guess.”

WHAT WERE YOU THINKING WHEN YOU SEE THEM GETTING LARGER IN THE MIRROR?  “Something  happened to 98 car exiting turn two and it just pulled a huge gap on the field and I couldn’t react fast enough to that to try to stay with the field and I drove away from it and it kind of rubber-banded back on us.  The 16 and the 60 got a great run with some really smart drafting and flung by us.  That was just the way the cards were dealt.  We’ve come to Daytona the last four or five years and led a bunch of laps, and been leading towards the end, and not been able to finish it out and today is the same.”

ARIC ALMIROLA – No. 98 Fresh From Florida Ford Mustang – “We had a really big head of steam coming to the white and the 42 moved up to block my run, which was fine, I was good with that, because I thought I could push him and we could go race the 22.  He got loose when he pulled up to block me and he started having a tank-slapper and I hit the wall.  When he came back across my nose I hit the wall and we ended up with a tire rub on the right-rear and it blew out.  I couldn’t race anymore and I was just trying to get it back to the finish line.  All in all, it was a great day for our Fresh From Florida Ford Mustang and I’m glad a Ford Mustang went to Victory Lane.”

CHRIS BUESCHER – No. 60 Kellogg’s/Cheez-It Ford Mustang – “That was great.  That’s exactly what we need to come here and do.  After the heartbreak of last year, coming down here and not qualifying, it’s something we had to rebound from and we knew that.  We came down here with Cheez-It on our Ford Mustang and started off the XFINITY season in 2015 with a bang.  To get Ryan his first win, I know how special it is getting our first win last year at Mid-Ohio and getting that monkey off your back is huge for him and it’s gonna carry momentum for our entire organization going forward.”

HOW DID YOU SURVIVE?  “I don’t even know.  I think we were in the middle of about three wrecks and all I know is I just never lifted.  There wasn’t a single wreck we slowed down for.  We figured if we could just get by it and get gone, we were gonna be in good shape.  It worked out.  We were able to get down that backstretch and get hooked up with Ryan and push him past that 22.  It was a great finish and a great way to start this season.  I’m proud of my 60 guys.  They worked so hard for this last year and didn’t get the opportunity to do it and for us to be able to come out here and get a solid finish and be fighting for that win, and have our teammate get it, is something special to us and I look for good things to come this season.”

DARRELL WALLACE JR. – No. 6 EcoBoost Ford Mustang – “Things went OK.  We got up there fairly early and it was nice to get up there.  We got our Ford EcoBoost Mustang out front, so that was good, but it just didn’t plan out there in the middle of the race.  It’s a bummer because my guys worked super-hard to earn a better finish than this.  It’s frustrating, but it could have been a lot worse.  I’m excited about our season.  It ended up being a decent points day for us.  We didn’t wreck out early.  We missed some big ones, so we’ll go to Atlanta with our Mustang and be ready to win.”  A LOT OF TALK ABOUT THE YOUNG DRIVERS THIS YEAR AT ROUSH FENWAY.  WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOU AND THE ENTIRE GROUP TO WIN IN THE FIRST RACE OF THE YEAR?  “That’s awesome.  Congrats to Ryan and Ford and the whole RFR camp.  I’m excited to be a part of this team.  We’re showcasing what we’re all about and how much work was put on in the off-season and we’ll build off this.  We’ll come up with a game plan, but that’s our one wreck for the year.  We’ve got to minimize those.”

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CHRIS BUESCHER, No. 60 Kellogg’s Cheez It Ford Mustang – RUNNER-UP PRESS CONFERENCE

“First off, we are just happy to be running this race this year after last year going the way it did. We are just proud that we were in it and has Cheez-It on board our Ford Mustang. It was fast all weekend. I was just trying to stay out of trouble and there was a lot of it. We barely got out of it. I think we actually ended up in Ty’s door at one point getting through one of those last ones. It was a melee. A lot of torn up equipment. I am happy we could get out of it and get Ryan his first win. Knowing the feeling last year of getting that one off your back. I was proud of the guys. They worked really hard and we are not trying to dig ourselves out of a hole this year. We should be in good shape going forward.”

CAN YOU COMMENT ON KYLE BUSCH GETTING HURT WHERE THERE WAS NO SAFER BARRIER? SHOULD THERE BE A SPOT ON THE TRACK WHERE THERE ISN’T ONE? WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE? “I think that has through the years develop and turn into kind of a reactive cause. We keep running into situations where people find spots that aren’t thought of before and I think the sport has progressed far in the safety aspect and we start to take it for granted. There is really no room to do that. It really needs to, in my opinion, be as safe as possible and if that means lining the inside walls as well then that is probably a good idea.”

WHAT DOES THIS DO FOR ROUSH FENWAY AS AN ORGANIZATION AND FOR YOUR TEAMMATE RYAN REED? “For our organization this is huge. I am so proud to get Ryan his first win first off. That is a huge accomplishment and to do it here, I am extremely happy for him. Obviously this is one of those places where things get crazy at the end and we were able to weed through it. It was close and it wasn’t due to anyone else’s lack of trying. It was a wild finish. For our organization, we have good things coming. We worked really hard in the off-season. We have a lot of new personnel behind the scenes and new teammates in Bubba Wallace and Elliott Sadler that will really help us going forward. Elliott has taken on a role more of like a mentor, someone that has the extreme amount of experience that he does and it able to bring a lot to the table. It is helping us already. It maybe that you can say this race was completely due to that or didn’t help at all but we appreciate all the help we get from him. I know Ryan and Bubba and myself have all been listening to him. I expect the changes we’ve made to transfer more to the bigger tracks, the 1.5 mile tracks especially. If we get that program turned around I feel like we will be very competitive this year.”

CAN YOU COMPARE AND CONTRAST THIS RACE LAST YEAR TO THIS RACE THIS YEAR FOR YOU? “Honestly, it was painful to sit on a pit box and watch this race unfold last year and not be in it. As a racer, I am not a very good race fan when I know I should have been able to be in that race. That hurt. We took that last year and we tried to build off of it and put ourselves in a situation where we didn’t worry about points and just went out and tried to win races. It put us in some situations where we were able to take some chances and get the Mid-Ohio win. Now that we have that first one out of the way this year, I am confident we can get more. To be able to come to Daytona and make the race, make it comfortably and push our teammate to the win and bring home a second place finish is great for our team and organization as a whole. From what I have heard, I didn’t see them much because we stayed in our own group but from what I have heard all our cars were very good today and up in the front group. It is big. I am so happy we got to run this thing and get the seat time that I missed out on last year. It is night and day different. It is not comparable honestly. There is no way to describe the joy we had in qualifying. I was so nervous I thought I was going to be sick coming up through qualifying, especially after the second group tearing up some equipment. I was hurting. To be able to pull it off was special for us and I am looking forward to the rest of the season more now.”

  • Ryan Reed won his first race in one of NASCAR’s top three touring series by taking the checkered flag in today’s inaugural NASCAR XFINITY Series event.
  • The win is Ford’s 220th NASCAR XFINITY Series victory and the first for Roush Fenway Racing at Daytona International Speedway.
  • Reed is the 37th different driver to win a NASCAR XFINITY Series race with Ford and the first since his teammate, Chris Buescher, did it last year at Mid-Ohio.

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