CREW CHIEF: Phil Gould
TEAM: Roush Fenway Racing
LAPS LED: 8
TOP 5s: 1 (5th, Road America)
TOP 10s: 7 (single season career best)
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.
Kyle Busch isn’t afraid to speak his mind, and he certainly did so after Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
NASCAR implemented a number of changes to make the racing closer, tighter and more exciting — including restrictor plates, a larger rear spoiler, aero ducts, and a smaller splitter — and achieved all that on many fronts.
But not for the younger Busch brother, who wasn’t pleased with the rules package. Was it actually designed to specifically slow him down rather than to even out things for the entire field?
Or was he just simply upset because he didn’t win a third Xfinity race in a row at IMS?
Check out how our NASCAR America analysts gauged the Xfinity changes in the above video.
Mark Smith, owner of TriStar Motorsports, died Saturday at his home, after a long battle with cancer, the team announced Monday. He was 63.
He began his racing career building engines for his brother Jack’s drag car in the 1970s. He moved his family from the West Coast in the early 1990s to pursue a career in NASCAR. He was the owner of TriStar Motorsports and Pro Motor Engines.
TriStar Motorsports fields the No. 14 in the Xfinty Series with JJ Yeley and the No. 72 in the Cup Series with Cole Whitt. The team stated the team will continue operations under the management of Bryan Smith, son of Mark Smith.
“It was dad’s dream to own and operate a NASCAR team,” Bryan Smith said. “He devoted his life to that dream and his family plans to honor his wishes by continuing our efforts in his memory.”
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Victory Junction Gang victoryjunction.org or NOVA (National Organization for Vehicle Access, part of the BraunAbility) novafunding.org.
The family will receive friends from 5-8 p.m. ET, Aug. 1 at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home, Mooresville, North Carolina. They have created a Facebook page where you are encouraged to leave a story for the family to enjoy. (facebook.com/Remembering-Mark-Smith-301261653675224)
Given how wild the Brickyard 400 played out, the big wreck between race leaders Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. wasn’t exactly surprising.
Rather, with the way the race transpired from the opening lap, was the Busch/Truex wreck almost inevitable?
Truex got loose and washed up into the left rear of Busch’s car, sending both drivers and their respective cars into the outside retaining walls, hitting hard and ending their respective days.
Check out what our NASCAR America analysts had to say about the wreck from Monday’s show in the above video.
On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, Dale Earnhardt Jr. — who will become part of our NBC Sports Group in 2018 — looked back on a wild and intense Brickyard 400.
Earnhardt was one of several drivers whose day came to an early ending — in Junior’s case when he ran into the back of Trevor Bayne‘s car, destroying his radiator in the process.
All the mayhem and mishaps could be linked to over-aggressive driving, Earnhardt said, saying that every driver was in “attack mode,” especially on restarts.
Check out Junior in the video above.