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The NASCAR Hotspot Podcast
The NASCAR Hotspot Podcast

Episode · 1 year 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 to take his car to the shop and I need to pick him up. I could just keep I'll just keep this on and then, you know, you do whatever for half hour. I think I can make it there and back. I hang on. Let me see, how far is it? Twenty four, twenty five? It'll be just enough time. I'll be back close. You go now, I'll be I'll be boot scoop and boog in. Need the longer than a few minutes. I'm getting a little worried. Looking one minute, Bro who's scared? I was like, Oh my God, absolutely crushed at there we go, sweet Oh my God, I make great time. Oh my God, made great time. That is crazy timing. Timing are you doing? Yeah, just just just finished on a bike ride. I managed Jack Wood, who drives for GMS. So me and him and logged twenty miles or so in used to the he's a he's from Californias. He's taking every chance he can get to acclimated to the humidity. Oh yeah, absolutely wild over there right now. Yeah, it's going to be a one one this week and it's, as would be a second truck race, but first oval and of course it's going to be...

...a hundred degrees or whatever it's going to be. So Oh, probably find oh yeah, that's going to be going to be interesting for all of you guys. Yeah, yeah, yeah, but it's going to be warm, very here is we have our guests, the Ryan Reid. He's a two time winning the explanity series and has recently come off a truck series start with GMS a couple scold Darlington. So Um, so, how are you doing? Good, really good. Yeah, it's been and it's been. It's been a cool year. You know, I've been when working with Jack would on the management side, just, you know, kind of helping him along and and that's been so much fun. been been a really rewarding process. I've been been really cool to work with the GMS guys, a Great Group of guys, Mike Being, Keith Barnwell, obviously more, but they've just they put together a really awesome group of people over there. It's been fun to work with them. Well, I as will just start with Darlington. So how did it? How did all that go with you returning to with the competitive ride in the truck series? Yeah, it was it was beyond words fun. You know, I I think you know there's a there's a few of US guys that, you know, had to, you know, had have competed it at the high at a high level, full time and really good rides. You know, off the top of my head, Park Clickerman really comes to mind, you know, and I know there's I know there's a few of us out there, but I think we just really appreciate the opportunities we get nowadays, where when we were younger and you know, everything was about making it to, you know, making it to racing on Sundays full time and being the next being the next Jeff Gordon, Delle Junior, Denny Ham, you know, if the list goes on and on, be in the next superstar. You know your you have a very different mindset. And now I'm not saying I wouldn't love to be racing on Sundays and...

...heck even as even where I'm at in life right now, I you never say never, but I think we all know that we're not quitting our day jobs. And so my point is, though it rambling on here, is just that I really appreciated being able to go out and and get just be 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 be able to go race at Darlington and mix it up and battle it out like that, be door to door. I mean you just you. I think when you take some time outside of the sea you really get some good perspective and I think for me it was just enjoy the whole process. It's pretty sweet fun. And then you mentioned that being out of the heat. What and the amount of time that you've really been out of one, especially when talking about a competitive way or even non competitive way. Just take us through like some of that time in between really yeah, yeah, it was. It's been an interesting couple of years. You know, I was really fortunate when I moved out here and within a couple years, you know, I had signed a development contract Rausch, landed a landed a sponsor with Eli Lily and racing full time, you know, and life was good. You know, it was nineteen years old, you know, making good money and driving race cars every weekend and it's, you know, fairly competitive equipment. When when, in a couple Daytona's and just, you know, like they're it really couldn't. You know. I think in the moment I would have, you know, had a laundry list of things that I wanted to get better. But, you know, we're not looking back on it. You know, it was it was a really nice time in my life. And then when Lily left and I you know, obviously you know I am one of many stories about sponsor leaves and then next thing you know, you're looking for a ride. HMM. And so I spent about a year, you know, trying to figure out if I can, you...

...know, get back and do another competitive ride, find a sponsor, find a team, that sort of thing. Got Really close on not a few deals and really thought that someone's going to come together and a few things fell out of the last minute. So that would have been all of two thousand and nineteen. So two thousand and twenty I was like okay, time to go, time to get a real job, which have been the first real job of my of my life. You know, everything to that point was just race car driver Ryan. So you know, when tried my hand at a kind of a sales job in the ingredients world, my Blob, you probab don't even know what that means. But my family, their background is in agriculture out in California. So I actually went to a food ingredients brokerage out of Chicago and work for them for a year selling ingredients. And you know, it was a great opportunity and I didn't, I don't, I didn't go to college. So I was really thanking for the opportunity. But man talked about a home link couple of years. You know, it matter of eighteen months. I was, you know, just just selling fruit, you know, and work on my cell phone and so I you know, I probably knew the whole time. It wasn't the end. I'll be all. I I wasn't going to be that. You know, that wasn't my passion. That wasn't you wor I ended up. But it was certainly a great opportunity and allowed me to continue to pay the bills. And I was working with kid named Jack Wood, just just part time deal. I fly out to count out racism on the West Coast, help spot and driver coach and so you know that would I didn't think that would lead to much. You know, Jack was a really good kid, great family. Enjoyed work with them. But obviously I didn't know that he had aspirations of moving out and trying to, you know, drive for a good team. So the short version of the story is that he did. They called me up and and the last year said Hey, we want to move Jack Back to North Carolina. Give them a shot, get him with a bettive team and I will kind of took the lead on that. Broken a deal with GMS and I've been working with Jack and then also in a business development role for for...

...cooks, headers and exhaust up and Statesville. So states North Carolina. That for those you don't know. And so that's kind of been my that's in my two thousand and twenty. Comment each other really well and get to go the races every weekend, which I'm so passionate about, get to race on myself. So really, really busy, which I'm very thankful for, and having just so much fun doing doing all these doing all these things. So it's interesting to see how people just you can go in and now the sport, but everyone, everyone seems to find their way back in. You don't just DIS disappear entirely from the sport. It's great to see that the teams and companies and everyone in the community still gets around everyone. Yeah, yeah, spot on. And you know, I I've said it a few times. I've taken steps away from it and it kind of pulls me right back in. You know, and talked about Parker Reagan Smith, you know, and they're obviously on the broadcasting side, but you see a time time again, Brandon Mc Reynolds is a really, really close friend of mine, you know, who manages Noah a Gregson and a few other drivers and he's partners up at TMG, but you know he spots for Ross on the weekends. Ross Justin and Noah and he and you know he doesn't management stuff, money through Friday and you know it's he used to drive and there's a great driver and things don't work out. You get your shot and you race as long as you can. But then you know, if you're passionate about the sport and you want to stay a part of it, you know there are great, great ways to do that and I think at twenty seven I have a lot better perspective on been appreciative of the opportunity, whether that's in the seater, outside the seat, to be about to be a part of the sport that I love so much. Trure, you have anything? Yeah, so let's just go all the way back. So how did you because I don't...

...think he grew up in a family that was really like that race. So how did you? How did you get into recently? What was the beginning of and like the coming up into exfinity? Yeah, it's great question. My Dad certainly wasn't you know, Bill Elliott or Dave Blainet? You know, there's definitely like you know, there's a lineage there the you know, the the some young drivers have come in that you know, have a long lineage in the sport. My Dad did race. He he ran a few cups starts, but mainly back then he ran a lot of what was then winds west and and the old southwest here, but it was predominantly west coast racing route. So but dad, you know, was very fortunate family as far as just knowing you know, grew up around them or going on the racetrack. But certainly once I moved back to North Carolina it took on a whole nother level. I think, as a lot of west coast racers know, west coast racing is awesome, but it is it is a fair amount different than then coming back to North Carolina and and really, you know, taken that next step. But I was, you know, fortunate to have a Dad who knew a lot about sport, was really really good, is really good at the marketings other sport. He me and him and a lady by the name of Jodie who still helps me this day, who, you guys know, helped schedule his call. But US three put the lady lively lily deal together, which is one of the biggest sponsors that in the xpinity series for about five years. And so from that perspective, I was so fortunate to have have a, you know, family around me. That the new it and it knew what it took to to drive race cars. But we all know that's only half the battle, you know, you have to be able to put together partnerships the hell you get to the track or help get you an opportunity. Yeah, that is definitely. Opportunities and sponsories are...

...the biggest thing in racing, especially, I meant out of anything in the world's bunchers definitely help out with racing the most. And you talk about having the deal with Lily and having to deal with Roush and try mentioned it at the beginning. Just take us through Daytona not once but twice. It's it's certainly, you know, two of the two of the afternoon evenings that I'll remember for the rest of my life. And I still, whether I'm talking you guys about it or you know, someone will pull up the highlights on Youtube or whatever it's it's on. It's unbelievable. I mean it's all traish for forever. I certainly wish and hope that there are we you know, we're a few more along the way, but you know, I think that that doesn't diminish at all or take away from for how amazing those nights were. You know, I remember, I just remember, you're so those nights. We go and celebrate and have family and friends and we'd go out and, you know, you're having drinks and you're celebrating and you're almost you're almost in disbelief the whole night. You know, it takes it takes days to set in and I think that a lot of that goes to just how hard it is. You know, and I know all the guys in the sport you know, they know that every driver that's done it knows how hard it is to win. But you know, for the fans at home it is when, as a driver, you equal parts excitement as equals equal parts relief, because you work so hard every day and it can be so long and in between wins and in between success, then when you do have it, as excited as you are and it's pumped up you are, you're also 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 and so for a few days and for a few moments at pressure is gone. But Daytona is when I go to Daytona and I go every year, whether it's a Jack or you know the lot, you know, just to go hang out Steve Friends, whatever it is you pull it, I just it. The memories come flooding back and I'm so thankful to have those. And two have you know that my group of guys that I was with, a lot of them I still keep in touch with and we reminisce and it's just very special to me. You say that's one thing that you see guys they may only win it Daytona. If that is you know, would ends up being the only Wednes they get, but it's something that no one's ever going to be able to take away from them. It's it's no matter which series it is, opening weekend and say hey, I want to be very first race of the season like and it was at Daytona of all tracks, like that's something no one can ever discredit someone for ever. No, your spot on and you know, I you know with and you have to look at the circumstances right like we there's a couple things that really stand out to me about those wins. Number One, you know, I believe the one of them, Brad cause last getting finished second. The other one, Kesey CAINE finished second. So I felt like the guys that are maybe Chris Busher. Yeah, Chris Busher pushed me pass Brad for the win at at Daytona, the first one, and then the second one I was blocking Casey for the last five or six laps. So I felt like I was in good company there as far as who I was racing for the win. And then also to just we're Alsh was as a team and his organization. You know, we had unbelievably good restrict plate program Jimmy Fenning, you know, led that charge for for a long time and I know he's still Ralsh and very smart man with a lot of success. But you know, we, you know, Ralsh was in a rebuilding phase and still is, you know, on all the other stuff, and not saying there wasn't chances to go to other tracks and wins throughout the year, but it was very tough and...

...we knew when we went to the play races we had a chance to win and that maybe our only chance of the year, and so we capitalized on a lot of them. And you know, obviously there's only two wins, but there's a lot of top fives, law, top ten's, Talladega, Sarah and we're in contention. So I was very I am very proud of my plate resume. I know that if I went back we'd pick up I left off and get challenge for winds. I think it's just a you know, there's certain guys that really understand it and I firmly believe I'm one of those and just, you know, spent a lot of time understanding it and took to a really well. Yeah, and you said how confident you are like your plate resume and how you've done and you made a cup start at Talladega of all places, and we've talked to other drivers that made like a couple cup starts and they've they like said how big it is and how amazing it feels to be in the field and a cup race and how was the feeling of being against such big names? It was a man, it was a crazy week and I remember when they told me that was my first cup start out I have obviously with my success at Daytona. I was like, that makes a lot of sense. But then when you look at it, it was a it was a playoff race. Not only was a playoff race, but was a cutoff race. And so as excited as I was, I was also very nervous because I knew that the cup cars very different, very different Arrow package. Obviously the depth of field that got you go from acrinity to cup. There's a big jump as far as talent level. The exprinity, say extrinity series is. It is very competitive, but it's a whole other you know, it's all the bag of worms. When you when you talked about going cup racing. So for me it was go there and learn, but you can not you can't put yourself in a bad position and you certainly can't go take out, you know, Denny hambling or or one...

...of the guys that you know and are certainly not my teammates. You know with it Ricky and Greg Bifol, Trevor Band was racing, and you know all those is just a lot of things going on, a lot of things out of consider because if I would have went out there and took out one of the guys that were competing for a playoffs Bot on a cutoff round, I just would have never forgiven myself. So I felt like it was a great opportunity and I love that I have a cup start on my resume. I just if there's anything I wish, I wish I could go back and do it again and and have a have a be a regular season race where there wasn't so much on the line and say those those super speedway races that are in the regular season, or just everyone full sends and there's no there's no giver take at all, and that it's especially the past couple of years and we've definitely seen that with them. How how the cups series tends to how the racist tend to fan out there at the end of them. But yeah, I know it's those. Those are probably the most entertaining races from the fans perstructives, but also the most nerve wrecking to yeah, yeah, and if you go back and look at that race, I don't think there might have been one wreck, but there was no big one, you know, and and well, I know who as from teams all love that. You know, for me it was I spent most of the day riding around like twenty five to twenty eight this kind of manage my day, staying attached to the pack, kind of waiting for that to unfold. And you know, it never did and so you know, I had I was thankful. I had a lot of a lot of guys text me. Jam Johnson, Carl Edwards, Ricky, a lot of guys text me and said, hey, you did a really good job today. When we're around, you made smart moves. You definitely you know, you control the situation well, but there wasn't a chance to go up there, getting side the top ten and really get aggressive. So it was just a weird race. It played out weird but at the end of the day I don't look back on have any regrets. I do what I needed to do and I was, you know, at the time, you know, we were building to go cup racing. So that race for me wasn't a one and done, it was a...

...it was just a hey, go up there learning for all the laughs. So you know what to expect next time you got back. Obviously there wasn't a next time. That does mean they'll never be a next time, but you know, as of right now that's my personal cup start. So it was it was an interesting day and something that, you know, I feel like I can as I work with Jack and as he progresses all that's one of those things I can pull from and use that experience to help help guy. Jack Racing and cups, as you said, like really competitive and everyone has like a big amount of respect for anyone out there and I'm guessing like to get those tax matches and everything must to mean a lot to you like when the day was done, that you did it your job, even if it wasn't the finish you wanted. You you got it done. Yeah, yeah, it is. Now I think as a young guy, you know you're you're looking for that confirmation that, Hey, I'm doing what I need to do. I'm putting in the time, I'm checking the boxes, and so you know, it was it was always meaningful to me that I had some teammates 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 erect a car my rookie year at Phoenix racing finger rouse, racing for ten and you know, a busted my ass coming off a turn what used to be turned to now turn for wrecked it pretty good trying to hold onto it and I was really disappointed myself and Carl Edwards gave me a call. He's my teammates time and Carl gave me a call and gave me a great pep talks that brush it off and, you know, just basically said you were you're given a hundred percent and you know that's going to happen. And so I was very fortunate to have some guys that I always really looked up to, grew up as fans of, and Carl was one of those guys who was always really great to me, and there was a few of them, but you know, he sticks out as a as a mentor to me, both on her off the racetrack and he he taught me...

...some lessons, lafe lessons at I'll definitely hold on to whether I'm in a race car or not. So you mentioned getting pep talks and getting just that motivation that you need from maybe maybe not necessarily need, but just like it's nice to get from other drivers. Who's who would you say, is the driver that you either enjoy getting those from the most or which, which was like the driver that inspired you the most to get it get into racing? Yeah, you know, I look at my dad, you know, as you know, both from a driver respective and then just from a just from a from a human being perspective, as a guy who guide me the most and gave me the most. But I think, you know, for talking talking guys at race on Sunday, Carl Edwards and Ricky stenhouse probably spent the most time with me. There was there was some other guys. Matt Kenseth, you know, towards end of my career, you know he spends found me, Mark Martin, you know a lot of the guys that were in the Ford Ford family. Kevin Harburck, who he is? You know he's from Bakersfield. He him my dad have a pretty cool connection. Mike car of it. Kevin's Dad crew chief my dad for a lot of years. And so really great story was Kevin was in the booth for both my wins and he talked about when he was growing up in be here, swift, Bakersfield, California, sleep from the floors and my dad's race shop when he was a kid. So we go way back. I remember Kevin when I was thirteen or fourteen, race and legends cars out West came out to Charlotte. Kevin Sam sat down me for like nine 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 Kevin is a great guy who I know like and he's a great mentor and Leader and I know he does a lot for the organization of us, to Hoss and other guys that he works with. But he was a he was a big help to me in my career. Fast forwarding now, Jack Wood, who's in the driver's edge program and Josh Josh wise leads out effort and Josh Wise. Today...

I'm not in the driver's edge program but I talked to Josh about about Jack and at talk to him prior once every two weeks. And what a I mean, I cannot say enough about that guy. He is, you know, he's really innovating a lot of things in the sport as far as how you approach things from job perspective and for me even even not as a driver roll but as a, you know, as a mentor for Jack and as a, you know, a guy who kind of you know, works with Jack Every day both on off the racetrack. Josh Wise, I cannot say enough about him and the what he brings to that Chevy Program Josh wise is a name we hear a lot about and I don't think he gets enough credit for what he actually does for not just like younger drivers, but basically any driver, I'd say at this point that's thirty two and younger, just about. I want to say, like everyone seems to always mention him and how he helps develop just about everyone. It's kind of crazy. Yeah, he you know, he's been so intricate in the in the driver development for Chevy and when I was talking to you know a few different teams about where to place Jack going too this year. You know, one of the things that when I when I was talking to GMS, they talked about how, how, how big of a deal was to have josh and if we, if we took Jack over GMS having Josh as a resource and how meaningful that was going to be. And and honestly I was like, yeah, I'm sure it's going to be helpful, but I didn't realize what Josh wise brings to the table. And you know, he works with so many different guys, Lawson, bowm and the younger guys, Sheldon, create, Zane, Smith, Jack, the list goes on. I know left out a few of those guys, but if you look at at the guys that he works with...

...and look at their look at their trajectory as far as driver growth goes, it's pretty phenomenal and hid his results and his and his resume speaks for itself. As far as what Josh is, what Josh is doing over there with the driver's edge program he very smart guy, very analytical approach. He's really he really takes the time to make himself better in order to help those other guys. So yeah, Josh doesn't get enough attention for for what he's doing in the sport and I think that. I think he's starting to. I think a lot of people from around the sport or are seeing that and seeing exactly what I'm talking about with the success that his guys are having and there I think that you're going to see more and more. You know, probably manufactures probably look for that. You know, they're going to look for that, Josh Wise, because of what he's able to bring. Yeah, so I can believe for God before this that you're from Bakersfield, California, and so growing up you grew up and started racing and went through the ranks as Kevin Harvock was in the cup series and winning, kind of making his name. So how much confidence to that bring to you, knowing that a guy from Bakersfield, Kevin Harvick, is winning and having all the success that maybe you can make it one day and be up there? Yeah, I like I mean I remember growing up on the on the couch and there was probably two guys that. You know, really we're putting Baker's fold on the map and I certainly think it was helpful for me. You know, I just it. You know, obviously Mooresville, North Carolina, the racing hub. It's known for NASCAR right. And there's a few other areas that you know, it's kind of like there. There were some guys from there, so it brought a tension. Vegas is a great example with the Bush brothers running gone. I'm sure I'm looking a few guys out, but Vegas has been known and now no Gregson. So Vegas has been known for to bring some drivers along and I certainly think Casey mirrors and and Kevin Harvick were two guys...

...that help help put bankers on the map. As far as like, Hey, drivers come from here and you have what you used to have mason rent out there as an asshole track. You've got you have big fuel speedway out there. Now you have current race way. So there's a lot of racing and banker stilling and I was, I've always been a big advocate for west coast racing, especially racing a big shoot California, talk about how competitive is, how great it is and how some really talented kids come out of there because of that, just because of the racing community out there. I think I think a lot of the I'LD say country as in the US. Wise I feel like a lot of the country kind of underreads Midwest and west coast racing, especially west coast racing, because you see those guys come from Midwest, or even they originally come from the west coast and come midwest racing first before they get up to 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 that we see kind of phase out in a year or two because they try to race the same way everyone else does. Yeah, it's I think what makes it tough is is that when you're when you're on the West Coast, it's obviously a big move and you have to commit to at a young age, you know, going from going from the West Coast to the east coast. And then, I think relationships. You know, it's it's hard to know where to go when you're when you're first making that move from West Coast East, because you don't know your eyes connected. So you don't know as maybe the crew chiefs, as many of the car chiefs, as many as the of the team owners. It's just you have to it takes longer to build some of those relationships and so that's where now that's where I've been really enjoying working, working with Jack Wood is I feel like I'm able to offer a bridge for that because, you know,...

I came from the West Coast and I've been in the sport for ten years now and I've made a lot of those relationships. So I kind of know like hey, who are the really good people in the sport that are good with working with young guys? You know that are they're good with, you know, helping someone develop their career, and so I feel like that's really been a big piece of what I've been able to offer Jack and his family as they've moved him out here. But you're absolutely right. I mean, think about the guys that have come out of the West Coast. You have obviously just talked about Harvard and Casey, Kyle Larson, Jimmy Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Noah Gregson, the Bush brothers, friend and gone. I mean, if you if you go down the list of drivers and on still a lot of active drivers from the West Coast, it's pretty impressive and it's not easy. It's not easy as a kid from the west coast to break through a Nascar for the reason I said, because it is such a relationship heavy. Who Do you know? Sport that you know? You don't know. A lot of people come from the West Coast. So it's it's certainly tough and I'm glad that there's been a lot of guys that have created a lot of notoriety for the West Coast. It's simply great to see, I guess, the diversity and where drivers come from, a different backgrounds and racing and backgrounds overall. Really, and I feel like this words finally getting to the point where we can have those guys at all race differently on the same track at the same time, and we're seeing it especially in the cup series with Bell Larsen. You Got Harvic, he got Lugano and his way of driving. Is there any place that fans and kind of reach out to you? Social Media? Get shot that stuff out now? Yeah, absolutely, you know, you know is full along on the basics. Twitter, facebook, instagram, twitter and twitter and instagram about the same that driver Ryan read.

You know. One of the things that I that I didn't mention mentioned earlier is just a huge shout out to Tam Diabetes Care. They were they came on and partnered up for the Darlington race. Is Super last minute, and so it was was pretty cool. I wha there t slim x to and Slin pump. It's literally what help. I mean it's been a key to my diabetes management for the last year or so. So it's cool to be able to have them as a partner and tell that story. So big shot out to them and thank you, guys, so much for having me on. You know, I'm looking forward to listen to this as a great interview and enjoy talking about everything I've had going on over the last couple of years. Yeah, I appreciate you coming on talk of us. Thank you very thank you. Thank you, guys,.

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