For the past five seasons, Ryan Reed has made a staple of competing for solid finishes in the Xfinity Series for Roush Fenway Racing. But his run with the team could come to a close in Saturday’s (Nov. 17) Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The future uncertain, Reed’s trying his best to go out on top. In what could have turned out to be his final practice ever with the No. 16 team on Friday (Nov. 16), he was on top of the charts as far as single-lap speed.
“My team works really hard,” Reed told Frontstretch. “I’m really proud – even being P1 in practice goes a long way with these guys. It shows that we know the team isn’t where we want it to be speed-wise at Roush Fenway Racing, but these guys work so hard. The [lack of] speed isn’t from a lack of effort. I don’t exactly know what my future holds, but at least for one lap in practice I can get it done. I know that.”
Indeed, Reed’s future is certainly in question after longtime sponsor Lilly Diabetes announced in mid-October it would be leaving the No. 16 team following Homestead. In more than five years together, the California native has picked up a pair of victories at Daytona International Speedway for Lilly, posting seven top-five and 27 top-10 finishes in 170 career starts. He also made one Cup start, at Talladega in 2016 where he ran 26th.
But Reed’s performance always seemed to be judged against others in RFR equipment. In that same span, his former teammate Chris Buescher won the series title in 2015, winning three races.
Reed’s future is unclear, but he believes it will all work out.
“We do have a lot of irons in the fire and things that we are working on,” Reed added. “There’s nothing concrete, nothing signed. I don’t have a contract for next year. I’m really excited for what the future holds – I’m excited for change and the opportunity to grow as a driver. I just don’t know what that is exactly going to be yet.”
It’s easy for Reed to have a positive mindset despite nothing signed for 2019.
“You can only control what you can control,” Reed mentioned. “I can’t control – Lilly, they’ve been a great partner but they decided to leave the sport. That’s their prerogative, but they helped me chase my dream for five years and have been a tremendous partner.
“I don’t look at it any different from any other adversity in my life. I got diagnosed [and was] told I’d never race again. There couldn’t be any more uncertainty than that, and here I am. I have no doubt in my mind that I’ll be back in a racecar and if not, it wasn’t meant to be. I feel really confident that I will.”
Heading into what could be his final race with RFR, Reed has five starts at Homestead with a best finish of 13th in his first outing (2013). Knocked out of the Xfinity Series playoffs after round one, he’s currently 11th in the standings.