Ryan Reed enters his fifth season behind the wheel of the No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang for Roush Fenway Racing. Reed kicked off the season by claiming the checkered flag at Daytona International Speedway, securing a position in the 2017 Playoff field. Reed is no stranger to finding his way into victory lane at Daytona, the win was his second at the 2.5-mile track. Reed's first victory came in February of 2015.
The 2016 season saw Reed make the field for the inaugural NXS Playoff, ultimately finishing sixth in the driver point standings on the strength of seven top-10 finishes during the 2016 season. In addition, Reed made his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup debut at Talladega Superspeedway in October, finishing a respectable 26th in the No. 99 Lilly Diabetes/American Diabetes Association Ford Fusion.
Reed's racing career began at a young age, capturing the Kid's Kart Track Championship at the age of four. The Bakersfield, California native followed that up by becoming the Junior 1 Comer and HPV Karting Track Champion at age eight.
In 2011, Reed was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and told that he would never race again. Consequently, Reed's approach to his life, career and goals in racing forever changed. Instead of giving up, Reed found Anne Peters, MD, of the University of Southern California's Clinical Diabetes Program, who assured Reed that with hard work, he could still reach his dreams of becoming a top NASCAR driver.
Determined not to give up his lifelong dream, Reed implemented lifestyle changes that included a strict diet and exercise regimen, the use of devices to provide on track data, and reporting all of this information to his medical team in California.
In 2013, Reed joined the Roush Fenway stable of development drivers, making six starts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. In October of the same year, Reed and Roush Fenway announced a partnership between the American Diabetes Association's Drive to Stop Diabetes® campaign and Lilly Diabetes that saw Reed compete full time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2014, and every year since.
This year, Lilly Diabetes and NASCAR announced that Lilly would become the "Official Diabetes Health Partner of NASCAR" in a multi-year official partnership with the sanctioning body. Through the partnership, Lilly Diabetes and Reed will continue to encourage fans to take action to better manage their diabetes.
Outside of racing, Reed is a role model in the diabetes community. He formed his nonprofit organization, Ryan's Mission, to help build awareness and positively touch the lives of so many who are affected by diabetes.