Ryan Reed Holds Off Hard-Charging Travis Braden to Win at Kentuckyby Kyle Pokrefky September 26, 2015 0 comments
SPARTA, Ky. — Ryan Reed went two-for-two in the ARCA Racing Series in 2015 as he took the checkered flag in the Crosley Brands 150 at Kentucky Speedway early Saturday afternoon.
Piloting Lira Motorsports’s No. 38 Lilly Diabetes Ford, Reed held off a hard-charging Travis Braden to secure his second career ARCA win and the second of the season for the Lira organization.
Originally scheduled to run on Friday night, the Crosley Brands 150 was postponed to Saturday afternoon. With that, Reed has checked off 150 miles of the 450 he is scheduled to race today as he will return to action in Saturday night’s VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 for the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
“It’d be awesome to go two-for-two today,” Reed stated. “First of all, I’m thankful for Lira Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Lilly Diabetes and everyone that lets me come do this. It’s a lot of fun. It’s amazing to me that I get to drive great race cars like this and how much fun it can be.
“It really reminds me why I love being in this sport so much. The ARCA Racing Series is a really fun series and it’s one of the first series I’ve ever raced in before I started my XFINITY career. It’s great to come back and race with these guys.”
Reed led the final 20 laps of the race and assumed the lead from Cunningham Motorsports’s Austin Cindric on Lap 81 after the 17-year-old lost a tire.
Pit strategy played a key role in putting the driver of the No. 38 Ford towards the front in the first place as a caution for rain flew before the middle stages of the race.
Then leader Daniel Suarez stayed out on the track hoping for an eventual red flag that could potentially lead to a rainout once the race was official, yet the rain quickly moved away from the track and the field was able to return to green-flag racing. Reed was one of the few lead lap cars to elect to pit during the early stages of the caution – gifting him with favorable track position once the race went back to green.
“It was something where I was questioning Teddy [crew chief] ‘do we pit right here with rain?’” Reed said. “We knew we were going to get to halfway there and it was just a question of whether or not they would call this deal.
“Teddy did a great job looking at the radar and saying ‘It’s a quick cell, it’s going to blow past us really quick.’ It was a good call and I wasn’t going to make the right call if it were up to me. That’s why he’s the crew chief and I’m the driver.”
Braden came up just short in his second career ARCA Racing Series start in his self-owned Chevrolet; but he turned many a heads with his strong performance.
For a CRA Super Series star to take it to an XFINITY Series driver is a huge accomplishment and for Braden, it shows to those who may’ve been skeptical of his presence in ARCA that he truly deserves to be in the series.
“Racing against somebody who’s got experience and is already at the step, I think we showed that we could have definitely beat him,” Braden said. “What more can you ask for? I think that’s what we needed to do – come here and show that we were capable of doing this.
“By far, I think we did that and we met those expectations. I’m thankful, I wish we would have won. It stinks finishing second, I would’ve almost wanted to finish third but it was a great day, great week.
“These guys did a great job with a great car. I just wish we could’ve redone that. I think we could’ve got him if we could do it again.”
Completing the top-10 behind Reed and Braden were David Levine, Ross Kenseth, points leader Grant Enfinger, Suarez, Kyle Weatherman, Chris Windom, Matt Kurzejewski and Bo LeMastus.
Reed’s fellow XFINITY Series driver, Suarez, led the first 53 laps of the race before pitting during the caution for the rain and was only able to reach the outer edge of the top-five but not any further once the race resumed.
Cindric, 17, was the only other driver to run in the lead during the race – leading 27 laps from Lap 54 to Lap 80.
Enfinger, the race’s fourth-place finisher, wasn’t able to wrap up the 2015 ARCA Racing Series drivers’ title just yet, but will do so once he starts in the season finale at Kansas Speedway on Friday, October 16th.
Top-10 Finishers of the Crosley Brands 150
- 38 – Ryan Reed – Ford – Lira Motorsports
- 01 – Travis Braden – Chevrolet – Travis Braden
- 59 – David Levine – Ford – Lira Motorsports
- 52 – Ross Kenseth – Chevrolet – Ken Schrader Racing
- 23 – Grant Enfinger – Chevrolet – GMS Racing
- 15 – Daniel Suarez – Toyota – Venturini Motorsports
- 22 – Kyle Weatherman – Dodge – Cunningham Motorsports
- 36 – Chris Windom – Ford – Lira Motorsports
- 54 – Matt Kurzejewski – Chevrolet – K-Automotive
- 42 – Bo LeMastus – Dodge – Crosley Sports Group
Photo Credit: ARCAracing.com