Reed Finishes 14th at Phoenix Raceway

Ryan Reed drove a tight-handling No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford to a 14th-place finish Saturday afternoon at Phoenix Raceway.  Reed started the race 20th and with the help of fast pit stops and chassis adjustments was able to overcome the handling woes and persevere to the end. 

“I’m proud of the team for all the effort all year long, but we needed to keep it close in Texas,” said Reed.  “We knew we probably wouldn’t have a shot to win here, but we tried.  We have to go back to the shop and figure out these flange-fit cars.  I feel like we’re probably behind on those right now and we’ll go from there.”

Reed’s No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang was extremely loose when it came time to qualify Saturday morning at Phoenix.  Reed solidly made it to the second round of qualifying, but fell short of the final round and was left with a 20th-place starting position.

The handling shifted to tight from the drop of the green flag.  Reed was able to maintain his position over the first 60 laps and closed out Stage 1 19th.  Reed pitted at the Stage break for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.  The Lilly crew gained Reed seven positions on the pit stop, lining him up 12th for Stage 2.

The tight handling returned over Stage 2, but Reed rode it out and closed out the second 60-lap Stage 16th.  Crew chief Phil Gould called for another big swing with chassis adjustments before the final Stage of the race.  The Lilly crew gained another spot on pit road, lining Reed up 15th for the final Stage.

The Lilly Diabetes Ford fired off loose at the start of the final Stage, but then the handling shifted back to tight.  Reed was able to capitalize on a caution with 20 laps to go and came down pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment.  His crew gained him five positions and Reed lined up 13th for the final restart.  Reed was able to ride out the final 13 laps to cross the finish line 14th at Phoenix.  

RFR PR/Photo Getty Images for NASCAR

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