Austin Reed has competed in nearly twenty races this season in all manner of race cars including Super Late Model, Pro Late Model, Legends, and Outlaw Cage Karts. This weekend will mark another milestone in his racing journey as he is set to make his debut driving the #44 Approved Memory/GHA Technologies Toyota in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series at Evergreen Speedway located north of Seattle, WA.
The NAPA Auto Parts/Toyota "150" on the tricky 5/8-mile paved oval will be Reed's third visit to the track and an opportunity to demonstrate his prowess behind the wheel and prepare for future opportunities in the series. "I am really excited about racing in the K&N Series," Reed offered. "I have a lot of great memories from when I was really little of my dad's team competing in the series. I have always wanted to drive one of these cars for as long as I remember."
His dad, Dave Reed, has had great success as an owner in NASCAR over the years and has spent the past thirty years building a successful business and developing marketing partners to make this opportunity a reality. Austin Reed will drive a former Kyle Busch Toyota Camry prepared by Jason Jefferson out of his shop in Naches, WA. "Jason has been awesome this season with my Late Model program when I have competed out west," Reed offered. "We have had some great runs (7th at the Get Rich 212 in Montana, and a 4th place finish at the Idaho 222) this season and I know we have a great car and setup for Evergreen this weekend."
Reed scored a fifth place finish at Evergreen last season in his first trip to the track but struggled in the Summer Showdown this past June and knows the track owes him one. "This is a tough track to get a hold of but when you do it is a lot of fun to drive," Reed stated. "Jason and Jeff (Jefferson) both have a lot of laps there and have put a setup on the car that Cameron (Hayley) and Dylan (Kwasniewski) have been successful with there so I could not be more excited and confident."
Jason Jefferson, who has an impressive racing resume' not equalled by many, has been mentoring, coaching, and preparing Reed's cars this season. "Jason's knowledge is amazing and has been incredible to work with this season," Reed said. "I have learned so much from him and he has been amazing as my spotter. This race is going to be interesting since Jason likely be in the pits leading the crew."
For his part, Jefferson likes what he sees in Reed. "It has been a lot of fun working with Austin this season," Jefferson offered. "He has talent but more importantly he has a desire to learn. We are enjoying the opportunity this season and feel we have all the pieces in place for a great finish on Saturday."
The race at Evergreen is also a stepping stone for Reed as he plans on entering the K&N Pro Series race at Phoenix in November and his performance on Saturday will go a long way towards that ultimate goal. "I know we have a really good car that is will be competitive and we are very optimistic that we can earn a top five finish," Reed said. "Our primary goal is to finish all the laps and get the box checked so we can qualify for Phoenix. Beating Pursley and Mayhew may be a big challenge as those guys are awesome in these cars, but we know we can run with them."
Reed will also be carrying the Team Danny Fighting to Kick Cancer colors for longtime family friend Danny Kirby who is battling cancer. "Racing is a great platform to promote awareness and anything we can do to help we will," Reed stated.
Austin Reed resides in suburban Charlotte, NC where he study's Mechanical Engineering, races nearly every weekend, works in a race shop during the week, and gets the opportunity to crew on a Sprint Cup team from time to time. "I am definitely taking the long road for my college degree but it will happen," Reed offered. "I am really busy with racing as much as I can and making memories with my dad. Who knows where racing will lead but we are going to make each day count and enjoy it while we can."