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By Crystal A Macleod Asp Inc
BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer email@example.com
Fresh off his best NASCAR Nationwide Series finish, a ninth at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on Friday night, Bakersfield's Ryan Reed will be back in his hometown on Saturday and trying to be in two places at once.
He'll be racing in a Pro Late Model race at Kern Country Raceway Park and also be signing autographs during Drive to Stop Diabetes Night at Bakersfield Speedway.
The tracks are about 25 miles apart, but the 20-year old Reed is becoming well versed in being a multi-tasker.
"I've been really busy back here (North Carolina) and figured I could kind of be in two places at once," Reed said Wednesday in a phone conservation.
"I always thought I knew what it was like for Nationwide and Cup drivers until Friday. I had to be at the track at 7 a.m. and I had no break in my schedule until 25 minutes before the race.
"It was non stop. I think I did more media than driving the race car."
Not that Reed is complaining. All the media attention, coupled with a strong finish in just his third Nationwide race, could help boost his career.
"It was awesome to finally get the top 10 out of our way," he said. "I was really close (in his first race at Richmond) then pretty much got my butt whipped at Bristol (Tenn.)."
Reed, fighting a tight condition, had been running between 15th and 20th as the laps wound down at Richmond.
But a caution allowed for a pit stop and that was all Reed needed.
"We were unbelievably fast," he said. "In the last 20 laps we passed 17 cars. We were on a mission."
Reed, who has Type I diabetes and is an advocate for the American Diabetes Association, will compete in two more Nationwide races this year, Oct. 13 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Nov. 9 at Phoenix International Raceway.
As for next year, he said "it's looking really good. We're trying to announce something by Charlotte. We got a lot of momentum after Richmond."
Reed said doing double duty this weekend isn't the ideal situation but said he felt it was important for him to race, as well as be at the Drive for Diabetes Night at Bakersfield Speedway, which had been rescheduled.
The Drive for Diabetes Night was orignally set for Aug. 17 at the Speedway, but racing was canceled that night.
Reed will be at the Speedway from around 7-8 p.m. to sign autographs.
Bakersfield Speedway is donating $2 from every adult ticket sold and $1 from every child ticket sold to the Drive to Stop Diabetes campaign.
"We qualify (at Kern County Raceway) around 5 and our race won't be until after 9, so we can do it," Reed said of the double duty. "I'll be busy, but we really wanted to do this. I like to do as much stuff in Bakersfield as I can when I get back there."
It will be a busy night at Bakersfield Speedway as IMCA Modifieds, Sport Mods, Streets Stocks, NMRA Three-Quarter Midgets, Dwarf Cars and Mini Dwarfs will all be in action on the third-mile clay oval.
The IMCA Modified division has had seven winners this season but just one repeat winner -- Brad Pounds.
Pounds has won eight races and is six points ahead of Larry Hood with two races left to decide the championship.
The Sport Mod division also has a tight points race with two races remaining. Jared Schweitzer is four points up on John Piker.
Racing will start at 6.
The Pro Late Model division has produced eight different winners through the first eight races and Reed will be trying to make it nine-for-nine on Saturday at Kern County Raceway Park.
"I'm excited to get back out to Kern County Raceway," Reed said. "I think we have a really good piece. It will be fun and exciting."
Also in action will be Late Models and Mini Stocks.
David Mayhew has won 13 of the 18 Late Model races thus far and sits third in state points in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
Racing will start at 7.
Derek Thorn of Bakersfield holds a 23-point lead over Cameron Haley as the NASCAR K&N Pros Series West heads to the 2.2-mile road course at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, for a 110-mile race.
Thorn, who has three wins, has finished all 10 races this season in the top five.
Defending series champion Greg Pursley (31 points behind Thorn) has won the past three races at Miller Motorsports Park. Thorn finished 12th at this race last year in his only start at the track.