Congratulations Ryan Reed.

I got to interview NASCAR Xfinity series driver Ryan Reed last year, and to be honest, it wasn’t that great an interview. We were both pressed for time, and though I got my questions answered, it wasn’t a great experience. That’s the way it goes sometimes. He did send me this cool photo:
Reed

Now the good news: Ryan Reed, one of our Champion Athletes With Diabetes medal winners, was the winner of the Florida 300 at Daytona International Speedway Saturday.

Ryan got a little help from teammate and second-place finisher Chris Buescher, went around Brad Keselowski on the final lap, and got his first series win on the biggest stage in his sport.

Afterward, as he climbed out of his car and answered the first question from an interviewer, he had this to say:

“Four years ago I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, thought I would never drive a race car again, and now I’m standing in Victory Lane at Daytona…”

He also managed to say this:

“This is not only for me and my family, but every kid that gets diagnosed with diabetes – or anything that says you can’t do something. Just go out there, overcome it, win it, and do the best you can.”

To me, that’s worth more than my crummy interview.

We all have our chance to advocate for others living with and affected by diabetes. Ryan Reed got that chance before a national audience Saturday night, and he took advantage of it. And I’m grateful.

He’ll be advocating again on Saturday in Atlanta.

Here’s a look at the final two laps, plus the beginning of his interview just after the race:

 
 
 

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