Reed races for a reason
By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor
A day before he hit the track for practice and qualifying at the Talladega Superspeedway, 18-year-old NASCAR development driver Ryan Reed made a stop in Pelham to support a cause close to his heart.
Reed, who will race with Venturini Motorsports in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 race on May 4 at Talladega, spent the afternoon of May 2 at the Advance Auto Parts store near the U.S. 31-Alabama 119 intersection in Pelham.
While there, he displayed a life-size stock car simulator designed to look like his No. 15 car sponsored by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The event also featured a silent auction full of Advance Auto Parts products, NASCAR art and “Ryan’s Mission” gear.
On May 1, Reed made an appearance at a Birmingham Barons game, where he threw out the first pitch.
All money raised during the events was donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation – a cause Reed said has special meaning to him.
“I was diagnosed last year with type-1 diabetes, and the doctor told me I would never race again,” Reed said. “Because I have been able to continue racing, I feel like I have an obligation to give back.
“If I can inspire a kid to not give up on their dreams, I will be successful,” Reed added.
The International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250 will mark Reed’s second race on a superspeedway after he raced at Daytona in mid-February. Reed said there is “nothing like” traveling in excess of 190 miles per hour in a stock car.
“I got my superspeedway jitters out of the way at Daytona,” he said. “I’m pretty excited about Talladega. If you make a mistake at 190 miles per hour, there are some pretty big consequences.”