- Reed scores Jack Roush’s first career NXS win at Daytona
- Reed becomes 19th different driver to win for Roush Fenway Racing in NASCAR
- Bubba Wallace led 18 laps in Roush Fenway debut
- Roush Fenway led 44 laps at Daytona NXS season opener
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 21, 2015) – Roush Fenway Racing’s Ryan Reed made a terrific last-lap move to the inside and got a great push from teammate Chris Buescher to power his No. 16 Lilly/American Diabetes Association Ford Mustang to victory inSaturday’s Florida 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) season opener at Daytona International Speedway. Reed’s trip to victory lane capped a strong kickoff to the 2015 season for Roush Fenway, with three of its four Ford Mustangs leading laps in the race.
“It was amazing,” said Reed, who overcame a diagnosis of Type I diabetes to drive full-time in the NXS. “I can’t describe the emotions and the feelings that go into the first win – so much hard work and sacrifice from all my guys – (crew chief) Seth Barbour and Jack and everyone who stood behind me.
“To be diagnosed four years ago with Type 1 Diabetes and to have Lilly Diabetes, American Diabetes Association, Ford and Roush Fenway – everyone who stood behind me through it all – to get our first win at Daytona, get the first XFINITY win, there are just a lot of firsts there and it’s really exciting.”
Buescher, who led twice for 14 laps in the race while running up front all day in his Cheez-It Ford, made a move of his own coming to the line, and came up just .089 seconds behind his teammate for the win.
“For our organization this is huge,” said Buescher, who scored his first career victory last season at Mid-Ohio. “I am so proud to get Ryan his first win first off. That is a huge accomplishment and to do it here, I am extremely happy for him.
“For our organization, we have good things coming,” added Buescher. “We worked really hard in the off-season. We have a lot of new personnel behind the scenes and new teammates in Bubba Wallace and Elliott Sadler that will really help us going forward. I expect the changes we’ve made to transfer more to the bigger tracks, the 1.5-mile tracks especially. If we get that program turned around I feel like we will be very competitive this year.”
Bubba Wallace was also strong in his Roush Fenway debut, leading seven different times for a total of 18 laps in his Ford EcoBoost Mustang – the second most in the race – before getting caught up in a late accident. Still the No. 6 team was able to recover and score a solid 12th-place finish. Wallace was the race’s highest finishing rookie.
Also making his Roush Fenway debut, Sadler had a strong OneMain Financial Ford Mustang and looked to be a player late, before getting caught up in a multi-car accident. The team was able to make quick repairs to the car in the garage and still return for a 19th-place finish.
Roush Fenway returns to action tomorrow for the famed Daytona 500. The NXS returns to action next weekend in Atlanta.