Ryan Reed’s No. 16 Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang will honor the memory and legacy of past NASCAR Champion Alan Kulwicki. The No. 16 will throwback to Kulwicki’s 1989 Ford, a year in which he scored six pole positions, five top-five and nine top-10 finishes. NASCAR artist Sam Bass helped create the throwback adaptation of Kulwicki’s No. 7 Ford. Like Reed, Bass lives with type 1 diabetes.
“My dad was huge fan of Alan and had a lot of respect for him, so it’s awesome to get to run this throwback scheme in Darlington,” said Reed. “My Dad ran his own race team and drove for himself throughout the 90’s, just like Alan. Alan overcame a lot of challenges to become a champion and I can’t help but have a lot of respect for him.”
Kulwicki was admired by many in the sport and regarded as the epitome of perseverance as he started his own team and ultimately won the NASCAR Series Championship in 1992. Kulwicki and Reed have both defied the odds and persevered to pursue their dreams. Reed spent his entire childhood racing, but was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 17 and told he would never race again. By working closely with his doctors and monitoring his diet and exercise, Reed now competes NASCAR’s XFINITY Series and has two wins, five top-five and 15 top-10 finishes.
In 2016, Sam Bass helped create a throwback adaptation of Bobby Allison’s 1975 scheme. Reed started the race 15th last year at Darlington and went on to cross the finish line 13th, tying his best career finish at the track nicknamed “Too Tough to Tame.”