CREW CHIEF: Phil Gould (new for 2016)
TEAM: Roush Fenway Racing
TOP 5s: 1
TOP 10s: 1
LAPS LED: 16
WHAT WENT RIGHT: Reed kicked off the 2015 season in the best way possible, winning the opener at Daytona (the same race Kyle Busch suffered serious foot and leg injuries after a horrific head-on crash into an unprotected retaining wall). Unfortunately, he struggled from that point on the remainder of the season, never managing to even get another top 10 the rest of the way. … Reed was consistent to the extent that he finished just one spot lower in the standings in 2015 than he did in 2014. He also slightly improved his finishing average from 17.1 in 2014 to 16.8 in 2015. He also had 15 lead-lap finishes, compared to 17 in 2014.
WHAT WENT WRONG: After winning the season opener at Daytona, it appeared Reed might be on his way to an outstanding season. Unfortunately, it didn’t play out that way. His next highest finish after the Daytona triumph were four 11th place showings at Fontana, Dover, Chicago and Charlotte. Team owner Jack Roush swapped crew chiefs two-thirds of the way through the season, bringing Chad Norris over from Bubba Wallace’s team to sit atop Reed’s pit box, while Seth Barbour went from Reed’s to Wallace’s team. The new pairing showed some promise, with five top-15 and three other top-20 finishes in the remaining 13 races.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2016: Reed will have his third crew chief in the last year-plus, as Phil Gould will plot the strategy for this coming season. Gould was Elliott Sadler’s crew chief in the Xfinity Series last season (Sadler has since moved on to JR Motorsports for 2016). Having so many crew chiefs in a short period of time could be a problem for the 22-year-old Bakersfield, California native. Just when he established a rapport with both Barbour and Norris, they both were gone. How will the communication be between Gould and Reed going forward?