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The NASCAR Hotspot Podcast
The NASCAR Hotspot Podcast

Episode · 4 months ago

Episode 30 From Hungry to Humble

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This week we sit down and talk with 2x Xfinity series winner, Ryan Reed as he explains his road to the top of the Xfinity Series and the turning point of his career. 

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Oh God, could I make it there? What do you mean because my dad had totake his card to the shop and I need to pick him up. I could just keep I'll just keep thison and then you know you do whatever forhave, or I think I can make it there in back. I Ha. Let me see how far is it? Twentyfour twenty five to be just enough time, I'll be back close? You go now I'll, beI'll, be boot scooting bogan it a longer than a few minutes is getting a little worried talking oneminute bro who scared O is like a Oh, my God, absolutely clutched at there we go sweet. Oh my God, I mygreat, Oh, my God, made great time. That is crazy! Timing!Timing. Are you doing God just just finished a bike ride? I don't. I manage Jack Wood who whodrives for Grms so me and him and logged at twenty miles or so didn't useto the he's, a he's from California she's taking every chance he can get toeat acclimated to the humidity. Oh yeah, absolutely wild over there. Right now,yeah, it's going to be a warm one this week and it is it'll, be a second truck race first oval and of course, it's going tobe a hundred degrees or whatever it's...

...going to be. So all my father, Oh yeah,that's going to be it'll, be interesting for all of you, guys, yeah yeah yeah, it's going to be warm very here. It is. We have our guest,the Ryan Reed, here's a two time winning next for Ne thes series and hasrecently come off a truck Serio Star with G MS a couple weeks ago atDarlington. So so, how are you doing? Yeah? Really Good? Yeah, it's been man. It's been. It's been a cool year.You know I've been when working with Jack Wood on the management side. Just you know,kind of helping him along and and that's been so much fun been been. Areally rewarding process been been really cool to work with the GMA guys,a great group of guys Mike Ben Keith, Barnwell, obviously Mary, but they justthey put together a really awesome group of people over there. It's beenfun to work with them when I as well just start withDarlington. So how did? How did all that go with you returning to with thecompetitive ride in the truck series? Yeah it was, it was beyond words fun. You know, I I think you know, there's athere's a few of US guys that you know had to you know andhave competed it at the high at a high level, full time and really good rides. You know off the top of my head partquicker man really comes to mind. You know, and I know there's I know there'sa few of us out there, but I think we just really appreciate theopportunities we get nowadays where, when we were younger- and you knoweverything was about making it to you- know, making it to racing on Sundays,full time and be in the next being the next Jeff, Gordon del junior denny. Youknow the list goes on and on being the next superstar you know, you're, youhave a very different mind set, and now I'm not saying I wouldn't love to beracing on Sundays and...

...heck, even as even where I'm at in life.Right now, you never say never, but I think we all know that we're notquitting our day jobs and so at my point, is though I is rambling on here-is just that. I really appreciate it being able to go out and and get justbe in a competitive ride and make the most of it, and I think above all else,have some fun and enjoy it, because it's so it's so freaking cool to beable to go race at Darlington and mix it up and battle it out like that, bedoor to door. I mean you just I think when you take some time outsideof the sea, you really get some good perspective and I think for me it wasjust enjoy the whole process. It's pretty sweet dumb, and then you mentionthat being out of the heat. What and the amount of time that you really then are ones, especially when talkingabout a competitive way or even not competitive way. Just take us through,like some of that time, in between really yeah yeah it was it's been aninteresting couple of years. You know, I was really fortunate when I moved outhere and within a couple of years you know I had signed a developmentcontract throughout landed, a line and a sponsor with Uli Lily and racing fulltime. You know, and life was good. You know it was nineteen years old, you know making good money and drivingrace cars every week end and it's you know: frailly competitive equipmentwhen win in a couple day tones and just you know like there, it really couldn'tyou know. I think in the moment I would have you know, had a laundry list ofthings that I wanted to get better. But you know when I looking back on it. Youknow it was. It was a really nice time in my life and then when Lily left- andI you know- obviously you know I am one of many stories about sponsor- leavesand then next thing you know you're looking for a ride, and so I spentabout a year.

You know trying to figure out if, likeyou know, get back and do another competitive ride find on a sponsor findteam. That sort of thing got really closed on, not a few deals and really thought thatsomeone had come together and a few things fell out of the last minute, sothat would have been all of two thousand and nineteen. So two thousandand twenty. I was like okay time to go time to go, get a real job which hadbeen the first real job of my of my life. You know everything to that pointwas just race, cart driver Yan. So you know when tried my hand at a kind of a sales job in the ingredientsworld. My povyri don't even know what that means, but my family, theirbackground, is an agriculture out in California, so I actually went to afood ingredient brokerage out of Chicago and worked for them for a yearselling ingredients- and you know it was a great opportunity andI didn't I don't. I didn't go to college, so I was really think for theopportunity. The man talked about a home link a couple of years. You know amatter of eighteen months, I I was you know just just selling fruit, you knowand and work in my cell phone, and so I you know, I probably knew the wholetime it wasn't the end I'll be odd. I wasn't going to be that you know thatwasn't my passion that wasn't beer ended up, but it was certainly a great opportunity andallowed me to continue pay the bills and I was working with Kinan Jack Wood.Just just part time Da, I fly out to races on the West Coast, help spotdriver coach, and so you know that I didn't think thatwould lead to much. You know. Jack was a really good kid. Great family enjoyedworking with them, but obviously I didn't know that he had aspirations ofmoving out and trying to you know, drive for a good team. So the short version of story is that hedid. They called me up and in the last year said: Hey we want to move jack back to North Carolina, givehim a shot, get him a Pettie team, and I kind of took the lead on that brokento deal with G. MS and I've been working with Jack and then also in abusiness development role for for cooks,...

...headers and exhaust up in Statesville,so states North Carolina that for forthose, you don't know- and so that's kind of been. My that's in mytwo thousand and twenty comment each other really well and get to go to theraces every weekend which I'm so passionate about, get to raise somemyself so really really busy, which I'm very thankful for and and having justso much fun doing doing all these doing all these things. So it's interestingto see how people, just you can go in and out thissport, but everyone everyone seems to find their way back her you don't justthis is disappear entirely from this sport. It's great to see that the teams and companies and everyone inthe community still gets around everyone yeah spot on, and you know I've said ita few times. I've taken steps away from it and it kind of pulls me right backin you know, and I talked about Parker Regan Smith. You know and they'reobvious on the broadcasting side, but you see a tome time again. BrandamReynolds is a really really close friend of mine. You know who managesNoah a Gregson and a few other drivers and these partners of the Mgeta, butyou know he spots for oss on the weekends Ross, chastain and Noah, andhe and you know he doesn't management stuff money through Friday and you knowit's, he used to drive, there's a great driver and things don't work out. Youget your shot and you race as long as you can, but then you know if you'repassion about the sport and you want to stay a part of it. You know there aregreat great ways to do that and I think that twenty seven I have a lot betterperspective on been appreciative of the opportunity, whether it's in the Cedaroutside the seat to be about to be a part of the sport that I love so much trot. You have anything you know yeah, so let's Jus go all the way back. Sohow do you do because I don't think you...

...grew up in a family that was reallylike that race. So how did you? How did you get into recently? What was thebeginning of and like coming up into excidit yeah? It's good question, mydad! Certainly wasn't you know bill elliot or Dave blanet. You know and there'sdefinitely like you know, there's a lineage there. That of you know thesome young drivers have come in that you know have a long lineage in thesport. My Dad did race. He he ran a few cap starts, but mainly back Danny ran alot of what was then when a west an and the old southwest here, but it waspredominantly west coast racing route, so but a yeah. I was very fortunate family asfar as just knowing you know, grew up around school or going to the racetrack, but certainly once I moved back to North Carolina, it took on a wholeanother level. I think as a lot of west coast racers now, let's coast racing isawesome, but it is. It is a fair amount different than coming back to NorthCarolina and and really you know, taking that that next step, but I wasyou, know fortunate to have a Dad who knew a lot about sport was reallyreally good, is really good at the marketing of the sport. He me and him and a lady by the name ofJodi who still helps me this day, who you guys know helped schedule this call, but US ter,you put to the Ladi lively lily deal together, which is one of the biggestsponsors that in the expedite series for about five years, and so from thatperspective I was so fortunate to have have you know family around me thatthat knew it and knew what it took to drive race cars. But we all know,that's only half the battle. You know you have to be able to put togetherpartnerships to help you get to the track or help get you an opportunity.Yeah. That is definitely opportunities...

...and sponsors are the biggest thing in racing, especiallyI mean out of out of anything in the world. Punches, definitely help outwith racing the most and you talk about heaven. The deal with Elly and havingto deal with Ralph and troy mentioned it at the beginning.Just take a stun Daytona not once but twice it's it's. Certainly. You know two ofthe two of the afternoon evenings that I'llremember for the rest of my life and I still whether I'm talking to you guysabout it or you know someone to pull up the highlights on yout or whatever it's it's on. It's unbelievable. I meanit's I'll cherish forever. I certainly wishand hope that there you know were a few more along the way, but you know Ithink that it that doesn't diminish at all or take away from from howamazing those nights were. You know I remember I just remember you're, so those nives be go and celebrate andhave family and friends and we'd go out, and you know you're having drinks andyou're celebrating and you're, almost you're almost indisbelief the whole night. You know it takes it takes days to set in, and Ithink that a lot of that goes to just how hard it is. You know- and I knowall the guys in the sport you know they know that every driver- that's done. Itknows how hard it is to win, but you know for the fans at home. It is when, as a driver, you equal partsexcitement is equal, is equal parts relief because you work so hard everyday and it can be so long and in between winds and in between success.When you do have it as excited as you are and is pumped up, you are you'realso so relieved, because that's what you go to the track to do is to win,and if you go a while without a win,...

...you constantly feel that pressure andso for a few days and for a few moments that pressure is gone. But Daytona iswhen I go to Dayton and I go every year whether it's a Jack or you know the lot.You know just to go. Hang Out, I see friends whatever it is. You pull it, Ijust it. The memories come flooding back and I'm so thankful to have thoseand to have. You know that my group of guys that Iwas with a lot of them. I still keep in touch with and we ruitis and it's just very special to me. You see that's onething that you see guys they may only win at Daytona. I, if that is, you know,would end up being the only ones they get, but it's something that no one'sever going to be able to take away from that. It's it's no matter which seriesit is opening week end it's like hey. I want the very first race of the seasonlike and I at Daytona of all tracks like that's something. No one can everdiscredit someone for ever no your spot on, and you know I Iyou know with, and you have to look at the circumstances right like we there'sa couple o things that really stand out to me about this wins number one. Youknow. I believe that I one of them Rad cause last E. I think finished. Second,the other one keck finished. Second, so I felt like the guys that are maybeChris Busher Yeah Chris Busher Push Me Pat Bread for the win at Daytona, thefirst one and then the second one I was blocking CAS for the last five or sixlives. So I felt like I was in good company there as far as who was racingfor the wind and then also to just wear Rosas as a team and his organization.You know we had unbelievably good restrict plate program. Jimmy fenning,you know led that charge for a long time. I know he sall rouse and verysmart man with a lot of success. But you know we, you know rash, was ina rebuilding phase and still is you know on all the other stuff and notsaying there wasn't chances to go to other tracks and went throughout theyear, but it was very tough and we knew...

...when we went to the play races. We hada chance to win and it may be our only chance of the year, and so wecapitalized on a lot of them and you know obviously there's like two ends,but there was a lot of tough fives lotto tens, Talladega Saran, word contention. So I was right.I am very proud of my plate resume. I know that if I went back, we'd pick upRoger left off and good change for wins. I think it's just a you know, there'scertain guys that really understand it and I firmly believe I'm one of thoseand just you know, spend a lot of time, understanding it and took to it reallywell yeah, and you said how confident you are in likeyour plate resume and how you've done, and you made a cup star at Talladega ofall places and we've talked to other drivers that made like a couple cupstarts and they've. They like said how big it is and how amazing it feels tobe in the field and a Copris and how was the feeling of being against such big names. It was man, it was a crazy week and Iremember when they told me that was getting my First Cup Star O. Iobviously with my success at Daytona. I was like that makes a lot of sense. Butthen, when you look at it, it was, it was a play off. Race, not only was aplay off race, but it was a cut off race and so as excited as I was. I wasalso very nervous because I knew that the cup cars very different very foraero package. Obviously the depth of field they got. You got from extent tocup, there's a big jump as far as talent level. The expense expiditeseries is, it is very competitive, but it's a whole other. You know it's all the back at wormswhen you, when you talk about going cup racing. So for me it was go there andlearn, but you cannot. You can't put yourself in a bad position and youcertainly can't go take out. You Know Denny, Hamblin or or one ofthe guys that you know, and certainly...

...not my team mates. You know with itRicky and Greg Biffles racent and you know all those G. It's just a lot ofthings going on a lot of things I had to consider because if I would havewent out there and took out one of the guys that were competing for a play offpot on a cutoff round, I just would have never forgiven myself. So I feltlike it was a great opportunity, and I love that I have a cut start of myresume. I just if there's anything I wish. I wish I could go back and do itagain and have a have a be a regular season race where there wasn't so muchon the line. I say those those super speedway racesthat are in the regular season are just everyone full sends and there's nothere's no giver take at all in that it especially the past couple of years,and we've definitely seen that with how how the cub series tends to how the racist tend of Fan out there atthe end of them, but yeah. No, it's those. Those are probably the mostentertaining races from the fans perspectives, but also the most nerveracking to yeah. And if you go back and look atthat race, I don't think there might have been one wreck, but there was nobig one, you know and and well I know as teams all love that you know for me.It was I spent most of the day riding around like twenty fifth and twentyeight. This kind of manage my day stand attached to the pack kind of waitingfor that to unfold, and you know it never did, and so you know I had. I was thankful. I had alot of a lot of guys text, major man, Johnson Carl Edwards Rickie, a lot of guys textme and said: Hey. You did a really good job today when we were around you, youmade smart moves, you definitely you know you controlled the situation well,but there wasn't a chance to go up there, get inside the top ten andreally get aggressive. So it was just a weird race. It playedout weird, but at the end of the day I don't look back on. have any regrets. Ido what I needed to do and I was you know at the time you know we werebuilding to to go cup racings so that...

...race, for me, wasn't a one and done itwas. It was just a hey: go out. There Learn Aroun al the laps, so you knowwhat to expect next time you get back. Obviously there wasn't a next time.That is me. They'll never be next time, but you know as of right now, that's myfirst Noll Cup start. So it was. It was an interesting day and some that youknow I feel like I can as I work with Jack and that he progresses that that'sone of those things I can pull from and use that experience to help help GodJack Racing Cups, as he said, like really competitive, and everyone haslike a big amount of respect for anyone out there and I'm guessing like to getthose text mences and everything must have meant a lot to you like when theday was done, that you did your job. Even if it wasn't the finish you wantedyou, you have it done yeah yeah, it is now I think, as ayoung guy, you know you're you're. Looking for that confirmation that heyI'm doing what I need to do, I'm putting in the time checking the boxes,and so you know it was. It was always meaningful to me that I had someteammates and some other guys in the sport. That you know would take a second and say:Hey. You know you're doing a good job or I remember I recta car my rookieyear, phoenix racing finer rows racing for ten, andyou know I I busted my ass coming off a turn. What used to be turned to nowturn for wrecked it pretty good trying to hold on to it, and I was reallydisappointed myself and Carl Edwards gave me a call he's my team at time andCarl gave me a call and give me a great pep talk so brush it off, and you knowjust basically said you were you're giving a hundred percent and you knowthat's going to happen, and so I was very fortunate to have some guys that Ialways really looked up to grew up as fans of, and Carl was one of those guyswho was always really great to me, and there was a few of them, but you knowhe sticks out as as a mentor to me both on her off the race track, and hetaught me some lessons. My lessons and...

L I'll definitely hold on to whetherI'm in a race car or not. So you mentioned getting pep torks and gettingjust a motivation that you need from May maybe maybe not necessarily need,but just like it's nice to get from other drivers WHO's. What would you sayis the driver that you either enjoy gettingthose from the most or which, which was like the driver that inspired you themAve to get in it get into racent yeah. You Know I look at my dad. You know, as you know,both from a drive, Er Specie and then just from a just from a from a humanbeing perspective. As a guy who guided me the most and gave me the modest, butI think you know if we're talking talking guys that race on Sunday, CarlEdwards and Rickie Sten House probably spent the most time with me, there was. There was some other guys,Matt Kensit, you know towards no my career. You know he sends Founde MarkMartin. You know a lot of the guys that were in the Ford Ford family, KevinHarve, who he is, you know, he's from beggars field andhim. My Dad have a pretty cool connection. My Carved Kevin's DadCreche my dad for a lot of years, and so really great story was Kevin, was inthe booth for both my wins and he talked about when he was growing up inbigger, bigger food. California, sleep from the floors in my dad's race shopwhen he was a kid, so we go way back. I remember Kevin when I was thirteen orfourteen race in legends cars out West came out to Charlotte Kevin Sam satdown me for like an hour and a half two hours and just gave me career advice.You know and and stuff that I I to this day remember and hold on to so. Kevinis a great guy who I know like in he's a great mentor and leader, and I knowhe does a lot for the organization over at Stuber, Hoss and other guys that heworks with, but he was. He was a big help to me in my career, fast fording, now, Jack Wood, who's inthe driver's e program...

...and Josh Josh Wis leads that effort andJosh Wise Today, I'm not in the driver's edge program. But I talked toJosh about about Jack and I talk to him PRI onceevery two weeks and what I I mean, I cannot say enough about that guy. He is, you know, he's really innovating a lotof things in sport as far as how you approach things from drive perspectiveand for me, even even not as a driver role but as a you know, as a mentor forJack and as you know, a guy who kind of you know works the Jack Every day, bothon off the race track. Josh was, I cannot say enough about him and thewhat he brings to that Chevy program. Josh wise is the name we hear a lotabout and I don't think he gets enough credit for what he actually does fornot just like younger drivers, but basically any driver. I'd say at thispoint: THAT'S THIRTY! Two and younger. Just about D. I want to say, likeeveryone seems to always mention him and how he helps develop just abouteveryone. It's kind of crazy yeah. He you know he's been so intricate in thein the driver, development for Chevy and when I was talking to you, know afew different teams about where to place Jack going to this year. You know one of the things that when I,when I was talking to g MS, they talked about how how how big of a deal I was to have Joshand if, if we took Jack, O te g, Ms Having Josh as a resource and howmeaningful that was going to be and and honestly I was like yeah, I'm sure it'sgoing to be helpful. But I didn't realize what Josh wise brings to the table, andyou know he works with so many different guys, Lorison Bowman, theyounger guy, Sheldon creed, Zane Smith Jack. The list goes on. I know I leftout a few of those guys, but if you look at at the guys that he works withand look at their look at their...

...trajectory as far as driver growth goes,it's pretty phenomenal and his results in his and his resume speaks for itself.As far as what Joshes, what Josh is doing over there with the driver's edgeprogram, he very smart Guy, very analytical approach- he's really. Hereally takes the time to make himself better in order to help those otherguys. So Yeah Josh doesn't get enough attentionfor for what he's doing in the sport, and I think that I think he's startingto. I think a lot of people from around the sporters are seeingthat and seeing exactly what I'm talking about with the success that hisguys are having and there. I think that you're going to see more and more, you know- probably manufacturers,probably looked for that. You know they're going to look for that Joshwise because of what he's able to bring yeah. So I can believe for God beforethis, that you're from Bakersfield, California and so growing up, you grewup and started rasing and went through the ranks as Kevin Harbor was in thecup series and went in kind of making his name. So how much confidence tothat bring to you, knowing that a guy fromBakersfield Kevin, harvies winning and having all the success that maybe youcan make it one day and be up there yeah? Well, I, like I mean I remembergrowing up on the on the couch and there was probably two guys that youknow really were putting beggar foot on the map and I certainly think it washelpful for me. You know I just it. You know obviously Moresville NorthCarolina, the racing hub, it's known for Nasca right and there's a few otherareas that you know it's kind of like the there were some guys from there. SoI brought attention. Vegas is a great example with the Bush brothers run andgone, I'm sure I'm looking a few guys out, but Vegas has been known and nowno Gregson, so bigges has been known to...

...bring some drivers along, and Icertainly think, Ksar and and Kevin Harvard were two guys that help helpput beggars on the map. As far as like hey drivers come from here and you havewell, you used to have ma some rent out there as an asphalt track. You that youhave big fol speedway out there. Now you have current raceway. So there's alot of racing and Bakersfield, and I was I've, always been a big advocatefor us cost racing, especially racing a big sit. California to talk about howcompetitive it's, how great it is and how some really talented kids come outof there, because of that just because of the racing communityout there. I think I think a lot of I say country as the US wise. I feel like a lot of the country, kindof underrates, mid West and west coast racing, especially west coast racing,because you see those guys come from the Midwest or even they originallycome from the west coast and come midwest racing first before they get upto the actual ranks near the higher up ranks of racing, and it's just like.Okay, let's maybe look more of these guys than just the standard guys thatwe see kind of phase out in a year or two because they try to race the sameway. Everyone else does yeah it's. I think what makes it toughis as that when you're, when you're on the West Coast, it's obviously a bigmove and you have to commit to a a young age. You know going from goingfrom the West Coast to the East Coast and then I think relationships. Youknow it's it's hard to know where to go when you're, when you're first makingthat move from West Coast East case you don't know you're not as connected, so you don'tknow as many of the crutches as many of the car chiefs as many as the of theteam owners. It's just you have to. It takes longer to build some of thoserelationships, and so that's where now that's, where I've been really enjoyingworking working with Jack Wood is, I feel, like I'm able to offer a bridgefor that, because you know I came from...

...the West coat oast and I've been in thesport for ten years now, and I've made a lot of those relationships. So I kindof know like hey, who are the really good people in the sport that are goodwith working with young guys. You know that they're good with you know helpingsomeone develop their career, and so I feel, like that's, really been a bigpiece of what I've been able to offer Jack and his family as they've movedhim out here, but you're. Absolutely right. I mean think about the guys thathave have come out of the West Coast. You have obviously to talk aboutHarvard and Casey Call Lars and Jimmy Johnson Jeff, Gordon no Gregson, theBush brothers Brennan Gone. I mean if you, if you go down the list of driversand on still a lot of active drivers from the West Coast, it's prettyimpressive and it's not easy. It's not easy as a kid from the west coast tobreak through a ASCAR. For the reason I said, because it is such a relationshipheavy. Who Do you know sport that you know you don't know a lot of peoplecome from the West Coast. So it's certainly tough and I'm glad thatthere's been a lot of guys that have created a lot of notoriety for for theWest Coast a it's definitely great to see, I guessthe diversity and where drivers come from into different backgrounds andracing in backgrounds. Overall, really- and I feel like the sports finally getin to the point where we can have those guys that all race differently on thesame track at the same time and we're seeing it, especially in the Cup serieswith Bell Larson, you got Haric, he got Legon and his way of driving. Is thereany place that fans and kind of reach out to you so humid could shut thatstuff out now, yeah, absolutely you know you canalways fall along on the basic twitter face book. Instar am twitter andtwitter and instar about the same at...

...drive. Arian read, you know. One of thethings that I that I didn't mention mentioned earlier is just a huge shoutout to Tam dids care. They were. They came on and Parterre up for the Darlington races super last minute, andso it was, it was pretty cool. I wear their t slime to and slen pomp. It'sliterally what help I mean. It's been a key to my dibes management for the last year, or so so it's coolto be able to have them as a partner and tell that story. It's a big shot tothem and thank you guys so much for having me on. You know, I'm lookingforward to to listen to this as a great interview and enjoyed talking abouteverything. I've had gone on Er last couple, O years yeah. I appreciate you coming on talkof this. Thank you for you. Thank you thank Yous.

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