Ryan Reed drove his No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang to a 10th-place finish Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway. The solid top-10 run seeds Reed eighth, just two points out of seventh, with two races remaining before the Playoff field is cut from 12 cars to eight.
“We did exactly what we needed to do to keep ourselves in Playoff contention,” said Reed. “We struggled in practice, but Phil (Gould) made all the right adjustments throughout the race and we were able to start the Playoffs with a solid run.”
Reed struggled with his Lilly Diabetes Ford in practice on Friday at Kentucky, but on Saturday the handling came around. Reed narrowly missed making the final round of qualifying, setting himself up with a 13th-place starting position for 200-laps under the lights at Kentucky Speedway.
The opening Stage of the race was 45 laps that went caution free for the field. Despite a loose handling condition right from the start, Reed was able to pick up a few positions from his 13th-place starting position to close out Stage 1 11th. Reed pitted at the Stage break for fresh tires and a chassis adjustment. Thanks to quick work by his pit crew, Reed gained two positions on pit road to line him up ninth for the start of Stage 2.
The loose handling condition from Stage 1 continued into Stage 2, but despite the handling, Reed was able to maintain his position. Reed closed out Stage 2 ninth before coming down pit road for air pressure and track bar adjustments to tighten up his Lilly Diabetes Ford.
Reed took the green flag for the final Stage of the race 13th and cycled up to eighth before coming down pit road for a routine green flag pit stop with just over 50 laps remaining. As the laps dwindled down, Reed reported the handling had gone to the tight side. Despite the handling woes, Reed was able to steadily advance to cross the finish line 10th at Kentucky.
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