HAMPTON, Ga. (February 24, 2018) – Ryan Reed followed up his third-place finish at Daytona with a 10th-place finish Saturday afternoon at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Reed qualified his No. 16 Drive Down A1C Ford 12th and ran in the top 10 for a majority of the race. The 10th-place finish boosted Reed to third in the NASCAR XFINITY Series driver standings.
“A top 10 finish with some stage points was good,” said Reed. “I felt like we checked a lot of boxes today. We faded there about the middle of the second stage and never quite got it back, but I think we have something to build off of which is exciting. I think everyone at Roush Fenway did so much hard work over the offseason that when you come out and you knock out a top 5 and then a top 10, especially when Atlanta is not one of our best tracks, it’s a good start.”
Reed made it to the third and final round of qualifying Saturday morning at Atlanta. On his final attempt, Reed made great time through turns one and two, but lost some ground in three and four, resulting in a 12th-place qualifying effort.
Just a few laps into the 163-lap race Reed cracked the top 10, despite reporting that he needed more rear grip and was a little tight through the center. A caution fell just before the conclusion of Stage 1, setting up a strategy call for the field. Knowing how valuable tires are, crew chief Phil Gould brought Reed down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Reed restarted 15th on lap 39 and in one lap raced his way up to third to close out Stage 1.
Reed started Stage 2 third, but the tight handling in the center continued. Reed closed out Stage 2 in 10th then headed down pit road at the break for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.
Reed took the green flag for the final Stage of the race in the 12th position. Once again the tight through the center condition continued, but Reed was still able to gain some ground and work his way up to a 10th-place finish.
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