Lilly Diabetes announced that they will be leaving Roush Fenway Racing following the 2018 NASCAR XFINITY Series season.
The company was the full-time sponsor of Ryan Reed‘s No. 16 Ford Mustang.
“For the past five years we have been fortunate to have a partnership with Ryan and Roush Fenway Racing,” a spokesperson for Lilly Diabetes said in a statement. “Together we have increased awareness of NASCAR fans about the importance of managing diabetes and have inspired people with diabetes to live the way they want to live.
“Moving forward, we have decided to shift our focus to other initiatives that support the diabetes community, and therefore our partnership with Roush Fenway Racing to sponsor Ryan will end at the conclusion of the 2018 NASCAR season.”
The company had sponsored Reed, a diabetic, full-time in the XFINITY Series since 2014, in addition to his lone Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at Talladega Superspeedway in 2016, where he finished 26th in the No. 99 RFR Ford Fusion.
Reed will now become a free agent, given the late notice of the announcement, and the future of the No. 16 is in doubt, as RFR’s other NXS full-time team, the No. 60 shared between Austin Cindric, Chase Briscoe and Ty Majeski in 2018, is almost fully supported by Ford Performance.
“We would like to thank Lilly Diabetes for a truly great partnership over the last five seasons,” a spokesperson for RFR said in a statement. “We consider the program a success, as we were able to win two races at Daytona, qualify annually for the playoffs, and educate the racing community on important health initiatives, while at the same time inspiring those living with diabetes to live their lives to the fullest.
“We wish Lilly Diabetes nothing but the best going forward as they continue their effort to push this important message.”
Reed has two career NXS wins (2015 and 2017 Daytona), seven top fives, 26 top 10s and 74 laps led in 167 career starts.
He has finished no worse than 10th in the standings each season, with a best finish of sixth in 2016.
“Seven and a half years ago when I was diagnosed, I was told I would never drive a race car again,” Reed posted on Twitter. “I defied that then, and I have no doubt [that I] will continue to defy that and compete in the sport I love.”
— Ryan Reed (@driverRyanReed) October 15, 2018
Reed can finish no worse than 12th in the standings this year, which is where he currently sits in the points heading into Saturday’s race at Kansas Speedway.
Lilly Diabetes will continue to be the official diabetes health partner of NASCAR.