Reed Kicks Off 2018 with a 3rd-Place Finish at Daytona

Ryan Reed returned to Daytona International Speedway looking to defend his win from one year ago.  Reed suffered damage early on but rebounded and had his No. 16 Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes Ford in contention at the end.  A record five overtime restarts extended the scheduled race distance by 23 laps.  Reed led the field during one of the five cautions to end the race before settling for a third-place finish.

“Daytona is such an up and down race,” said Reed.  “You never know what you are going to get when you come here. I got involved in someone else’s mess early on and just tried to recover all day. We picked the right lanes late in the race and got up to the top-10, then the leaders wrecked and the next thing you know we are on the front row. I didn’t think we had a good enough car to lead there with all the damage but we could push really well. I focused on that and my Ford Mustang had a lot of power. Thanks to Roush Yates, Jack, Lilly Diabetes and everyone that supports this deal. What a great way to start the season.”

The two-time Daytona winner started the race 15th but suffered damage just 10 laps in from an incident that unfolded in front of him on the track.  Reed visited pit road twice under caution for tires and to repair the damage to the left-front fender of his Ford. By the conclusion of Stage 1, Reed had rebounded to 23rd.

Stage 2 went caution free for the field.  Reed started the Stage 15th and drafted his way to the top five during the segment but ultimately finished 11th.  After a pit stop for four tires and fuel, Reed lined up 12th for the final Stage.

Reed had worked his way up to the top 10 when just before the 100-lap mark, NASCAR issued him a penalty for blocking.  The Lilly Ford had gotten loose and in an effort to avoid the No. 16 another car ducked below the yellow line.  The penalty was a pass down pit road.  Reed opted to pit for four tires and fuel while serving the penalty.

The field went back to green flag racing with 16 laps remaining and with Reed on a mission to make his way to the front.  Reed worked his way up and to the front and was in the hunt for the win during the five cautions that closed out the race.  Reed took the final restart from the second position and held his ground with the leaders to cross the finish line third.

RFR PR/Photo Robert Laberge/Getty Images

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