WHAT WENT RIGHT: Reed had the best of his three full-time seasons in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. While he didn’t earn a win like he did in 2015, he had one top-5 and set a single-season best for top-10s (7, when his previous high was just one). He also qualified for the inaugural Xfinity Series Chase and finished a career-best sixth. He also had season bests in average start (14.3) and average finish (15.6).
WHAT WENT WRONG: While he significantly improved in overall top-10s, Reed struggled much of the season to get to the front of the field. In fact, he led just eight laps in the entire 33 races, and all eight of those laps led came in one race (spring event at Talladega). … He also struggled in finishing on the lead lap: in 33 races, he finished on the lead lap just 16 times (second-worst effort of his three-years in the series). … He also saw a significant drop in laps completed. While he completed 5,986 in 2015 and 5,969 in 2014, he completed just 5,346 in 2016.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2017: Reed returns to the No. 16 team for a fourth season with pretty much everything intact, including sponsorship (American Diabetes Association/Lilly) and crew chief (Phil Gould). Look for Reed to continue improving at his craft, but he definitely needs to become more consistent when it comes to running at the front of the pack and to earn more wins and top-fives.
After a week of NASCAR America returns today with the next edition of “50 States in 50 Show,” with a look at the state of New Jersey, which is the home of Martin Truex Jr., Hall of Fame nominee Ray Evernham and the subject of today’s segment, Wall Stadium Speedway.
The 1/3-mile speedway is located in Wall Township, which is about 40 miles east of the Trenton.
Evernham called into NASCAR America to discuss the track, which has been hosting races since 1950.
“Growing up on the Jershey shore, there was a lot of stock-car racing in that area,” Evernham said. “That was a pavement track and it was a Saturday night place to go. .. The racing was great. It’s because of the banked track. There was a lot of dirt tracks and flatter tracks around there, but at the time Wall promoted that it was banked just like Daytona (International Speedway).”
Watch the video for more from Evernham, Truex about the track.
NASCAR America: Aric Almirola recounts Kansas crash that caused back injury
Following Almirola’s account, NASCAR America analysts Parker Kligerman and Kyle Petty discussed the accident and the state of safety in the sport today.
With the many years his family has been in the sport and the tragedies it has experienced seen, including the death of his son Adam Petty in a 2000 Busch Series practice session at New Hampshire Motor speedway, Kyle Petty said Almirola’s accident hits “close to home.”
“When you’ve been in the seat and another family trusts you to take care of their son or their husband or their father, whatever it may be, and it’s our responsibility to look after Aric,” Petty said. “We talk about frontal impacts, we talk about rear impacts, we talk about side impacts. There’s been so much written and spoken about concussion. … But how many times do you see a car fall out of the air? You can’t cover everything. That’s what NASCAR continues to look at, that’s what we all continue to look at. But this sport is never, ever, ever, ever going to be completely safe.”
Watch the rest of the video below for all of Petty and Kligerman’s thoughts on the Almirola and safety in NASCAR.
Ryan Blaney to drive Kyle Petty’s 1987 paint scheme in Southern 500
The countdown to this years’ throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway began Monday with Ryan Blaney revealing his retro paint scheme on NASCAR America.
With the help of NBC Sports analysts Kyle Petty, Blaney announced his No. 21 Ford will have Petty’s 1987 paint scheme in the Sept. 3 Southern 500, which will air on NBCSN.
This is the third year for NASCAR’s throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway
Petty drove for Wood Brothers Racing from 1985-88, when he earned two of his eight Cup wins with the team and scored 19 top five and 48 top-10 finishes. He placed in the top 10 in points in three of his four seasons with the Wood Brothers.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Petty’s win in the Coca-Cole 600.
Blaney will be making his third start in the Southern 500. His best finish in his first two starts was 13th last season.
“When he was with us, Kyle used to build his own aluminum seats,” team co-owner Eddie Wood said in press release.. “He won a total of eight Cup races. He’s a talented singer and guitar player. He’s done great work with the Victory Junction Camp and the Kyle Petty Charity Ride, and he’s an excellent TV commentator.
“Kyle can do anything he wants to do. He’s that talented. We’re happy to have his name back on our Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion for the Southern 500 at Darlington.”