LAS VEGAS – Ryan Reed enjoyed a successful return to NASCAR competition on Friday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, staying on the lead lap and earning a ninth-place finish in his debut with DGR-Crosley.

The Strat 200, Reed’s first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series start since 2012, was dominated by Kyle Busch but saw Reed remain quietly in the top 10 for virtually the entire distance.

While Reed admitted he had a lot to learn through the day, his smile after the race was indicative of the enjoyment he got out of his run.

“Overall, I had so much fun being back in the race truck. We had a fast Toyota Tundra all night,” said Reed. “We lost some track position early and just kind of battled to get that back all night, but I felt like we had a top-five Tundra. I just had a lot to learn about how manipulate the air.”

Friday night marked Reed’s first time back in one of NASCAR’s three national series since November, when his tenure at Roush Fenway Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series ended due to lack of sponsorship.

Ryan Reed (17) leads Stewart Friesen Friday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Toyota Racing photo)

Reed was quick to point out that running a truck compared to an Xfinity Series car was vastly different.

“This was a lot different than what you have in the Xfinity deal,” he noted. “I think everyone at DGR-Crosley is really talented. They have all the right pieces. They will keep getting better. I hope we can do more together because there are opportunities to have some really good runs and contend for wins if we can have more time to gel. If we get the opportunity to do more, it would be so awesome.”

Reed’s opportunity to drive the No. 17 Toyota was thanks to Dexcom, a leader in diabetes care and management which supplies his Dexcom continuous glucose monitoring system.

“I’m thankful for Dexcom. We wouldn’t be here without their support,” Reed said. “Their technology allows me to get into the race car and do what I do each and every week, and to be able to monitor my blood sugar during the race. This has been a really fun weekend. It’s good to be back at the race track.”

Friday night’s race was a one-off for Reed, at least for the moment. Now, he’ll go back to trying to put together opportunities to remain behind the wheel for races to come.

“There’s nothing else concrete right now,” said Reed. “But we do have opportunities and irons in the fire. That’s the name of the game. There are real things we have working. Hopefully they can come together to give me … maybe some more stuff this year, and maybe a full-time gig in 2020.

“Right now, I’m going to do as much as I can this year and work back towards something full-time in another series,” he added. “Nothing would make me happier than being back in a DGR-Crosley Tundra, but I’ll go wherever the tide takes me.”