(August 28, 2001) Mark Reed and the Food 4 Less Motorsports team are headed to the Bank One 250 at Rocky Mountain Raceways near Salt Lake City on September 1st with one goal in mind. With only three races remaining in the Winston West Series, they need to reduce the 32-point lead that Brendan Gaughan took away from the Food 4 Less 250 on July 21st at Irwindale Speedway. Reed, who is a rookie in the series, had been the points leader since May 12th, but entered the race on July 21st with only a narrow 3-point advantage over Gaughan who is the series’ defending champion. While Gaughan dominated the last race by leading the most laps, Reed was only able to manage a 6th place finish which resulted in the 32-point deficit.
After finishing 2nd in the FOODS CO 125 Featherlite Southwest Series race at Madera Speedway on July 28th, Reed and his team have had 5 weeks to prepare for the remainder of the season including the race this weekend. “The race on July 28th ended a stretch of 13 races in 17 weeks”, said Reed from his shop in Bakersfield, California. “When you include the test dates in addition to the races, we have had a pretty grueling schedule”. Reed says the late season break has given his crew an opportunity to get the racecars prepared, the shop organized, and the parts and supplies ready for the final races of the season. Reed even closed his shop for a few days following a successful test session at Rock Mountain Raceways on August 14th and took several members of his team water skiing on the Delta in Northern California. “We had a great test in Salt Lake City”, said Reed. “We focused primarily on long runs and the car was the most consistent it has been all year. It was also very important for us to go test prior to the race, since I had never seen the track before and Brendan won the pole for last year’s event. When we got back from the test though, it was time to give the guys a few days off”. When the crew returned to work on August 21st, they were rested and ready to focus on the upcoming event. “We have been practicing pit stops 2-3 times per week”, said Reed. “Last week the guys cranked off a 16 second 4-tire stop. That’s only about 1 second off what the Winston Cup teams are averaging”.
While Reed is excited about racing Saturday night in the Bank One 250, Labor Day weekend also has another significance for his team and their sponsor (Food 4 Less). During the Labor Day weekend Jerry Lewis hosts a telethon to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. This year Reed participated in two fund raising events with Food 4 Less that resulted in a combined donation in the amount of $85,000 for MDA. “We hosted over 350 people for a fundraiser at the Food 4 Less 250 on July 21st at Irwindale Speedway which included a vendor ride-along day and we offered Mark Reed T-shirts to all of the Food 4 Less and FOODS CO members, with all of the proceeds going to MDA”, said Reed. “The donation for 2001 is a 37% increase over what we did with similar programs last year”.