Following a part-time schedule, Roush Fenway Racing announced mid-October that Ryan Reed will pilot the No. 16 American Diabetes Association Drive to Stop Diabetes SM Presented by Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang full-time in 2014.
Though Ryan Reed isn’t your normal NASCAR driver. Reed was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in February 2011.
At the time, he was told that he wouldn’t be able to race ever again. However, instead of accepting his fate, he decided right then and there that he’d do whatever it took to fulfill his dream. His research led him to discovering IndyCar series driver Charlie Kimball, who was able to race with diabetes. He got in contact with Kimball’s doctor Ann Peters.
Last February, he made his first ARCA Racing Series start with Venturini Motorsports.
Now announcing that he will be running full-time for Roush Fenway in 2014, he says it’s pretty surreal.
“So many people have been a part of all this and it would not be possible without them,” Reed said. “I thank the American Diabetes Association and Lilly Diabetes for their participation in this movement. I am so excited about how far Drive to Stop Diabetes SM presented by Lilly Diabetes has come, and can’t wait to watch the impact it has on so many lives.”
In his races for Roush-Fenway Racing this season, Reed ran solidly inside the top 15, including a couple of top 10 finishes.
“His ability to not only battle the odds, but win out over the elements is a testament to the competitor that he is,” team owner Jack Roush said. “We certainly are looking forward to getting him in the car on a full-time basis next season and at the same time teaming with the ADA and Lilly Diabetes to make a difference in the lives of people dealing with diabetes.”
The American Diabetes Association has stated that they will use Ryan’s story to make people aware of how many people are effected by diabetes on a daily basis and educate people about it with several off track health and wellness initiatives.
“Ryan refused to accept that his diagnosis was the end to his dreams. Instead, he saw it as his personal challenge to go beyond and build awareness, become a role model and give hope to all those affected by the disease,” Lilly Diabetes vice president Mike Mason said. “A major emphasis of our work is driven by the belief that people with diabetes should first be seen as individuals. It’s why Lilly Diabetes is proud to support the American Diabetes Association and Drive to Stop Diabetes SM. As an American institution, with roots that go back generations, we are excited to embark on this partnership with the hopes of continuing to inform and inspire people affected by the disease.”
Larry Hausner, CEO of the American Diabetes Association, echoed those sentiments in saying that Reed is a role model for those with diabetes and Reed’s ambition embodies the mission of their group.