Ryan Reed Wins Inaugural XFINITY Series Race in Daytona
The first race of the newly-rechristened 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series is in the books, and 21-year-old Ryan Reed scored his first NASCAR win on a day in Daytona that was largely overshadowed by a horrific accident.
Reed passed Brad Keselowski on the last lap of the Alert Today Florida 300 to secure the win, the first in his NASCAR career. Reed is the 37th driver under the Ford banner to win a race in the XFINITY Series né Nationwide Series né Busch Series né Busch Grand National Series né Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series.
The win was particularly special for Reed, who four years ago was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
“I thought I would never drive a race car again. Now, I’m standing here in Victory Lane at Daytona with Roush Fenway,” Reed said. “Not only for me and my family, but every kid who gets diagnosed with diabetes or anything that says you can’t do something. Just go and there and overcome it and do it and win and do the best you can.”
The race also saw its share of calamity when, with eight laps remaining in the race, Kyle Busch slammed into an interior concrete wall. Busch was later diagnosed with a compound fracture of the right leg and a midfoot fracture in his left foot.
Daytona president Joie Chitwood said that this accident could have been less severe had there been a steel-and-foam energy reduction (SAFER) barrier in place.
“The Daytona International Speedway did not live up to its responsibility today,” Chitwood said. “We should have had SAFER barrier there. We’re going to fix that. We’re going to fix that right now.”