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The NASCAR Hotspot Podcast
The NASCAR Hotspot Podcast

Episode · 8 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 itthere? What do you mean? Because my dad had to take his carto the shop and I need to pick him up. I could just keepI'll just keep this on and then, you know, you do whatever forhalf hour. I think I can make it there and back. I hangon. Let me see, how far is it? Twenty four, twentyfive? It'll be just enough time. I'll be back close. You gonow, I'll be I'll be boot scoop and boog in. Need the longerthan a few minutes. I'm getting a little worried. Looking one minute,Bro who's scared? I was like, Oh my God, absolutely crushed atthere we go, sweet Oh my God, I make great time. Oh myGod, made great time. That is crazy timing. Timing are youdoing? Yeah, just just just finished on a bike ride. I managedJack Wood, who drives for GMS. So me and him and logged twentymiles or so in used to the he's a he's from Californias. He's takingevery chance he can get to acclimated to the humidity. Oh yeah, absolutelywild over there right now. Yeah, it's going to be a one onethis week and it's, as would be a second truck race, but firstoval and of course it's going to be...

...a hundred degrees or whatever it's goingto be. So Oh, probably find oh yeah, that's going to begoing 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 hasrecently come off a truck series start with GMS a couple scold Darlington. SoUm, 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 workwith the GMS guys, a Great Group of guys, Mike Being, KeithBarnwell, obviously more, but they've just they put together a really awesome groupof people over there. It's been fun to work with them. Well,I as will just start with Darlington. So how did it? How didall that go with you returning to with the competitive ride in the truck series? Yeah, it was it was beyond words fun. You know, II think you know there's a there's a few of US guys that, youknow, had to, you know, had have competed it at the highat a high level, full time and really good rides. You know,off the top of my head, Park Clickerman really comes to mind, youknow, 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, wherewhen 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 nextbeing the next Jeff Gordon, Delle Junior, Denny Ham, you know, ifthe list goes on and on, be in the next superstar. Youknow your you have a very different mindset. And now I'm not saying I wouldn'tlove to be racing on Sundays and...

...heck even as even where I'm atin life right now, I you never say never, but I think weall 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 ableto go out and and get just be in a competitive ride and make themost of it and, I think, above all else, have some funand enjoy it, because it's so it's so freaking cool to be able togo 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 youtake some time outside of the sea you really get some good perspective and Ithink 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 theamount of time that you've really been out of one, especially when talking abouta competitive way or even non competitive way. Just take us through like some ofthat time in between really yeah, yeah, it was. It's beenan interesting couple of years. You know, I was really fortunate when I movedout here and within a couple years, you know, I had signed adevelopment contract Rausch, landed a landed a sponsor with Eli Lily and racingfull time, you know, and life was good. You know, itwas nineteen years old, you know, making good money and driving race carsevery 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, itwas it was a really nice time in my life. And then when Lilyleft and I you know, obviously you know I am one of many storiesabout sponsor leaves and then next thing you know, you're looking for a ride. HMM. And so I spent about a year, you know, tryingto figure out if I can, you...

...know, get back and do anothercompetitive 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 goingto come together and a few things fell out of the last minute. Sothat would have been all of two thousand and nineteen. So two thousand andtwenty I was like okay, time to go, time to get a realjob, which have been the first real job of my of my life.You know, everything to that point was just race car driver Ryan. Soyou know, when tried my hand at a kind of a sales job inthe ingredients world, my Blob, you probab don't even know what that means. But my family, their background is in agriculture out in California. SoI actually went to a food ingredients brokerage out of Chicago and work for themfor a year selling ingredients. And you know, it was a great opportunityand I didn't, I don't, I didn't go to college. So Iwas really thanking for the opportunity. But man talked about a home link coupleof years. You know, it matter of eighteen months. I was,you know, just just selling fruit, you know, and work on mycell 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 Iended up. But it was certainly a great opportunity and allowed me to continueto 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 theWest Coast, help spot and driver coach and so you know that would Ididn't think that would lead to much. You know, Jack was a reallygood kid, great family. Enjoyed work with them. But obviously I didn'tknow 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 thathe 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 onthat. Broken a deal with GMS and I've been working with Jack and thenalso in a business development role for for...

...cooks, headers and exhaust up andStatesville. So states North Carolina. That for those you don't know. Andso that's kind of been my that's in my two thousand and twenty. Commenteach other really well and get to go the races every weekend, which I'mso passionate about, get to race on myself. So really, really busy, which I'm very thankful for, and having just so much fun doing doingall these doing all these things. So it's interesting to see how people justyou can go in and now the sport, but everyone, everyone seems to findtheir 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 communitystill 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 andit kind of pulls me right back in. You know, and talkedabout 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 Gregsonand a few other drivers and he's partners up at TMG, but you knowhe spots for Ross on the weekends. Ross Justin and Noah and he andyou know he doesn't management stuff, money through Friday and you know it's heused to drive and there's a great driver and things don't work out. Youget your shot and you race as long as you can. But then youknow, if you're passionate about the sport and you want to stay a partof it, you know there are great, great ways to do that and Ithink at twenty seven I have a lot better perspective on been appreciative ofthe opportunity, whether that's in the seater, outside the seat, to be aboutto 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 familythat was really like that race. So how did you? How did youget into recently? What was the beginning of and like the coming up intoexfinity? 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'sa lineage there the you know, the the some young drivers have comein that you know, have a long lineage in the sport. My Daddid race. He he ran a few cups starts, but mainly back thenhe ran a lot of what was then winds west and and the old southwesthere, 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 movedback 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, butit is it is a fair amount different than then coming back to NorthCarolina and and really, you know, taken that next step. But Iwas, you know, fortunate to have a Dad who knew a lot aboutsport, 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 stillhelps me this day, who, you guys know, helped schedule his call. But US three put the lady lively lily deal together, which is oneof the biggest sponsors that in the xpinity series for about five years. Andso from that perspective, I was so fortunate to have have a, youknow, family around me. That the new it and it knew what ittook to to drive race cars. But we all know that's only half thebattle, you know, you have to be able to put together partnerships thehell 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 racingthe most. And you talk about having the deal with Lily and having todeal with Roush and try mentioned it at the beginning. Just take us throughDaytona not once but twice. It's it's certainly, you know, two ofthe 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 andhope 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 takeaway from for how amazing those nights were. You know, I remember, Ijust remember, you're so those nights. We go and celebrate and have familyand friends and we'd go out and, you know, you're having drinks andyou're celebrating and you're almost you're almost in disbelief the whole night. Youknow, it takes it takes days to set in and I think that alot of that goes to just how hard it is. You know, andI know all the guys in the sport you know, they know that everydriver 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, youequal parts excitement as equals equal parts relief, because you work so hard every dayand 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'spumped up you are, you're also so relieved because that's what you go tothe track to do, is to win, and if you go a while withouta win, you constantly feel that...

...pressure and so for a few daysand for a few moments at pressure is gone. But Daytona is when Igo to Daytona and I go every year, whether it's a Jack or you knowthe lot, you know, just to go hang out Steve Friends,whatever it is you pull it, I just it. The memories come floodingback and I'm so thankful to have those. And two have you know that mygroup of guys that I was with, a lot of them I still keepin 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 theyget, but it's something that no one's ever going to be able to takeaway from them. It's it's no matter which series it is, opening weekendand say hey, I want to be very first race of the season likeand it was at Daytona of all tracks, like that's something no one can everdiscredit someone for ever. No, your spot on and you know,I you know with and you have to look at the circumstances right like wethere's a couple things that really stand out to me about those wins. NumberOne, you know, I believe the one of them, Brad cause lastgetting finished second. The other one, Kesey CAINE finished second. So Ifelt like the guys that are maybe Chris Busher. Yeah, Chris Busher pushedme pass Brad for the win at at Daytona, the first one, andthen 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 whoI was racing for the win. And then also to just we're Alsh wasas a team and his organization. You know, we had unbelievably good restrictplate program Jimmy Fenning, you know, led that charge for for a longtime and I know he's still Ralsh and very smart man with a lot ofsuccess. But you know, we, you know, Ralsh was in arebuilding phase and still is, you know, on all the other stuff, andnot saying there wasn't chances to go to other tracks and wins throughout theyear, but it was very tough and...

...we knew when we went to theplay races we had a chance to win and that maybe our only chance ofthe year, and so we capitalized on a lot of them. And youknow, 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. SoI was very I am very proud of my plate resume. I know thatif 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 itand 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'vedone and you made a cup start at Talladega of all places, and we'vetalked to other drivers that made like a couple cup starts and they've they likesaid how big it is and how amazing it feels to be in the fieldand 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 whenthey told me that was my first cup start out I have obviously with mysuccess at Daytona. I was like, that makes a lot of sense.But then when you look at it, it was a it was a playoffrace. Not only was a playoff race, but was a cutoff race. Andso as excited as I was, I was also very nervous because Iknew that the cup cars very different, very different Arrow package. Obviously thedepth of field that got you go from acrinity to cup. There's a bigjump 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 allthe 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 youcan'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 andare 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 ofthings going on, a lot of things out of consider because if I wouldhave went out there and took out one of the guys that were competing fora 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 Ihave 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 ahave a be a regular season race where there wasn't so much on the lineand say those those super speedway races that are in the regular season, orjust everyone full sends and there's no there's no giver take at all, andthat 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 outthere 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 themost nerve wrecking to yeah, yeah, and if you go back and lookat that race, I don't think there might have been one wreck, butthere was no big one, you know, and and well, I know whoas from teams all love that. You know, for me it wasI spent most of the day riding around like twenty five to twenty eight thiskind of manage my day, staying 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 a lot of a lotof guys text me. Jam Johnson, Carl Edwards, Ricky, a lotof 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 upthere, getting side the top ten and really get aggressive. So it wasjust a weird race. It played out weird but at the end of theday I don't look back on have any regrets. I do what I neededto 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 aone and done, it was a...

...it was just a hey, goup there learning for all the laughs. So you know what to expect nexttime you got back. Obviously there wasn't a next time. That does meanthey'll never be a next time, but you know, as of right nowthat's my personal cup start. So it was it was an interesting day andsomething that, you know, I feel like I can as I work withJack and as he progresses all that's one of those things I can pull fromand use that experience to help help guy. Jack Racing and cups, as yousaid, like really competitive and everyone has like a big amount of respectfor anyone out there and I'm guessing like to get those tax matches and everythingmust to mean a lot to you like when the day was done, thatyou did it your job, even if it wasn't the finish you wanted.You you got it done. Yeah, yeah, it is. Now Ithink 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 thetime, I'm checking the boxes, and so you know, it was itwas always meaningful to me that I had some teammates and some other guys inthe 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 myrookie 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 tonow turn for wrecked it pretty good trying to hold onto it and I wasreally disappointed myself and Carl Edwards gave me a call. He's my teammates timeand Carl gave me a call and gave me a great pep talks that brushit off and, you know, just basically said you were you're given ahundred percent and you know that's going to happen. And so I was veryfortunate to have some guys that I always really looked up to, grew upas fans of, and Carl was one of those guys who was always reallygreat to me, and there was a few of them, but you know, he sticks out as a as a mentor to me, both on heroff the racetrack and he he taught me...

...some lessons, lafe lessons at I'lldefinitely hold on to whether I'm in a race car or not. So youmentioned getting pep talks and getting just that motivation that you need from maybe maybenot 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 thosefrom the most or which, which was like the driver that inspired you themost to get it get into racing? Yeah, you know, I lookat my dad, you know, as you know, both from a driverrespective 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. ButI think, you know, for talking talking guys at race on Sunday,Carl Edwards and Ricky stenhouse probably spent the most time with me. There wasthere was some other guys. Matt Kenseth, you know, towards end of mycareer, you know he spends found me, Mark Martin, you knowa 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 dadhave a pretty cool connection. Mike car of it. Kevin's Dad crew chiefmy dad for a lot of years. And so really great story was Kevinwas in the booth for both my wins and he talked about when he wasgrowing up in be here, swift, Bakersfield, California, sleep from thefloors and my dad's race shop when he was a kid. So we goway back. I remember Kevin when I was thirteen or fourteen, race andlegends cars out West came out to Charlotte. Kevin Sam sat down me for likenine and a half, two hours and just gave me career advice,you know, and and stuff that I I to this day remember and holdon to. So Kevin is a great guy who I know like and he'sa great mentor and Leader and I know he does a lot for the organizationof us, to Hoss and other guys that he works with. But hewas a he was a big help to me in my career. Fast forwardingnow, Jack Wood, who's in the driver's edge program and Josh Josh wiseleads out effort and Josh Wise. Today...

I'm not in the driver's edge programbut I talked to Josh about about Jack and at talk to him prior onceevery two weeks. And what a I mean, I cannot say enough aboutthat guy. He is, you know, he's really innovating a lot of thingsin the sport as far as how you approach things from job perspective andfor me even even not as a driver roll but as a, you know, as a mentor for Jack and as a, you know, a guywho kind of you know, works with Jack Every day both on off theracetrack. Josh Wise, I cannot say enough about him and the what hebrings to that Chevy Program Josh wise is a name we hear a lot aboutand I don't think he gets enough credit for what he actually does for notjust like younger drivers, but basically any driver, I'd say at this pointthat's thirty two and younger, just about. I want to say, like everyoneseems 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 intricatein the in the driver development for Chevy and when I was talking to youknow 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 toGMS, they talked about how, how, how big of a deal was tohave josh and if we, if we took Jack over GMS having Joshas a resource and how meaningful that was going to be. And and honestlyI was like, yeah, I'm sure it's going to be helpful, butI 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 lookat at the guys that he works with...

...and look at their look at theirtrajectory as far as driver growth goes, it's pretty phenomenal and hid his resultsand 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 smartguy, very analytical approach. He's really he really takes the time to makehimself better in order to help those other guys. So yeah, Josh doesn'tget 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 aroundthe sport or are seeing that and seeing exactly what I'm talking about with thesuccess that his guys are having and there I think that you're going to seemore and more. You know, probably manufactures probably look for that. Youknow, they're going to look for that, Josh Wise, because of what he'sable to bring. Yeah, so I can believe for God before thisthat you're from Bakersfield, California, and so growing up you grew up andstarted racing and went through the ranks as Kevin Harvock was in the cup seriesand winning, kind of making his name. So how much confidence to that bringto you, knowing that a guy from Bakersfield, Kevin Harvick, iswinning and having all the success that maybe you can make it one day andbe up there? Yeah, I like I mean I remember growing up onthe 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 helpfulfor me. You know, I just it. You know, obviously Mooresville, North Carolina, the racing hub. It's known for NASCAR right. Andthere's a few other areas that you know, it's kind of like there. Therewere some guys from there, so it brought a tension. Vegas isa great example with the Bush brothers running gone. I'm sure I'm looking afew guys out, but Vegas has been known and now no Gregson. SoVegas has been known for to bring some drivers along and I certainly think Caseymirrors and and Kevin Harvick were two guys...

...that help help put bankers on themap. As far as like, Hey, drivers come from here and you havewhat 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 raceway. 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 bigshoot California, talk about how competitive is, how great it is and how somereally talented kids come out of there because of that, just because ofthe racing community out there. I think I think a lot of the I'LDsay country as in the US. Wise I feel like a lot of thecountry 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 thewest coast and come midwest racing first before they get up to the actualranks, 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 torace the same way everyone else does. Yeah, it's I think what makesit tough is is that when you're when you're on the West Coast, it'sobviously 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 knowwhere 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 thecrew chiefs, as many of the car chiefs, as many as theof the team owners. It's just you have to it takes longer to buildsome of those relationships 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 abridge for that because, you know,...

I came from the West Coast andI've been in the sport for ten years now and I've made a lot ofthose relationships. So I kind of know like hey, who are the reallygood people in the sport that are good with working with young guys? Youknow 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'vebeen 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 comeout of the West Coast. You have obviously just talked about Harvard and Casey, Kyle Larson, Jimmy Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Noah Gregson, the Bushbrothers, friend and gone. I mean, if you if you go down thelist of drivers and on still a lot of active drivers from the WestCoast, it's pretty impressive and it's not easy. It's not easy as akid 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 thatyou know? You don't know. A lot of people come from theWest Coast. So it's it's certainly tough and I'm glad that there's been alot 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 Ifeel like this words finally getting to the point where we can have those guysat all race differently on the same track at the same time, and we'reseeing 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 andkind of reach out to you? Social Media? Get shot that stuffout now? Yeah, absolutely, you know, you know is full alongon the basics. Twitter, facebook, instagram, twitter and twitter and instagramabout the same that driver Ryan read.

You know. One of the thingsthat I that I didn't mention mentioned earlier is just a huge shout out toTam Diabetes Care. They were they came on and partnered up for the Darlingtonrace. 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 yearor so. So it's cool to be able to have them as a partnerand 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 tolisten to this as a great interview and enjoy talking about everything I've hadgoing on over the last couple of years. Yeah, I appreciate you coming ontalk of us. Thank you very thank you. Thank you, guys,.

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