NASCAR XFINITY Series Driver Ryan Reed Talks about Diabetes, his Quarrel with Ross Chastain
An athlete at the top of his game is in the Mohawk Valley sharing his story, not only of success but also survival.
NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Ryan Reed, who drives the Number 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang, says he wants to inspire both children and adult with diabetes. Reed has Type I diabetes, formerly known as "juvenile diabetes," and was once told that he would never race again.
Reed says he was diagnosed with the disease at age 17. At that time his biggest concern, he says, was whether or not he could participate in the sport he love so much. And, although doctors said, "No," he was determined to keep his dream alive.
Reed adjusted his diet, changed his routine and hit the racing circuit again.
Now, in between races, he speaks to those with diabetes letting them know that the disease does not need to control them.
There is a glucose monitor in his racecar. Members of his pit crew are trained to administer insulin to him if he needs it.
He says the need for that has never arisen, but if it does he feels confident that he and his team could handle it.
Reed also discussed his recent altercation with Ross Chastain on July 25, 2015 during the U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway. Reed was criticized for confronting Chastain with his helmet on, an indication that he may be protecting himself in a possible fight. Reed says that was not his intention. He says that he was upset with Chastain over his driving during the race and during a previous race. He said that his failure to remove his helmet was a function of the fact that he was trying to quickly exit his car.
There were no penalties for either driver from NASCAR because, Reed says, the organization permits drivers to show some emotion as long as things do not get out of hand.
A possible rematch between Reed and Chastain may be in the cards. Both are scheduled to race at Watkins Glen on Saturday, August 8, 2015.