Following a solid rookie season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, Ryan Reed is set for his sophomore season of competition with Roush Fenway Racing.
“I’m really excited,” he told OnPitRoad.com. “I feel like throughout the season we got better and we’ve brought new people to the No. 16 team, and Roush as a whole has brought new people to give us a feel from different organizations so I’m really excited.”
Reed had a solid year, finishing ninth in points with a top-10 on the season – fourth at Daytona in July.
“It was a lot of up and down,” he reflected back. “I felt like there was some errors that were driver, but throughout the second half of the year we really settled down. I didn’t get the finishes I wanted to, but we ran all of the laps which allowed my crew chief to learn. I think having a rookie crew chief with a rookie driver was a combination that had more struggles than we originally thought we’d have.
“It was a humbling year, but nonetheless, we learned a lot and took the second half of the year and really just started finishing the races and not tearing up equipment. I think that running 15th to 10th is not where we want to be running, but we put a lot of effort into it and the last few races we had some good momentum. We’re going to carry that into this year.”
He was joined by his fellow Roush Fenway Racing teammates Trevor Bayne and Chris Buescher in the top-10 in points. However, it was evident that RFR was a little off compared to other teams. With crew chief and crew member additions, along with new drivers Darrell Wallace Jr. and Elliott Sadler on the team, Reed feels the outside perspective will help the organization.
“I’m really excited,” he commented. “I feel like traditionally heritage of bringing up young driver, which is awesome and really good for me. But, you know, I think it’s going to be great to get a different perspective with Elliott Sadler running for Gibbs and RCR lots of year, and Darrell running for KBM in trucks, and a little for JGR. I think they will add a lot to our program, and give some perspective. They’ll probably be able to give ideas that we didn’t have before within the organization.”
With a solid year behind him, Reed is looking to continue the success by becoming a “top-10 contender week in, week out” as he feels it will set him up for success down the road.
“I think once you got start getting those top-10s, you can start getting top-fives,” he commented. “Once you can stretch the top-fives, top-10s week-in-week-out, that’s when you can start having really great finishes. Our goal right off the bat is to go out and start locking down some top-10s and finish these races good, and as the season progresses let our season get better.”
The pieces look to be there with the new additions, as well as having experience in his back pocket. The experience brought forth a series of lessons for the young driver, including the art of patience. Reed states that you have to be patient to be there at the end, but also not being too patient as that results in getting taken advantage of.
“It’s all about knowing when to be patient, and when to be aggressive out there,” he commented. “It’s a fine line, and the veterans know a good job at that. It was something that i had to learn. Like I said, the last half of the year, I felt that I did a good job at learning that balance.”