Two years to the day after he was diagnosed with type I diabetes, Bakersfield’s Ryan Reed announced a sponsorship linked to his disease that will put him in at least five NASCAR Nationwide races this season.

Reed, 19, will drive the No. 16 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing with sponsorship from the American Diabetes Association and its Drive to Stop Diabetes campaign. His first race will be at Richmond International Raceway on April 26.

Reed made the announcement on the NASCAR Race Hub show on Speed TV but spoke with the Californian while at Kern County Raceway Park last Saturday.

“We’re going to do some testing in March for my first race and I’m really excited,” he said of he Nationwide deal.

As of now, the deal with Roush is for five races but Reed is hopeful he can at least double that number.

“A perfect world would be about 10-15, well, a perfect world would be a full schedule but we’re optimistic for about 10-15 races and we’re going really hard for a full schedule in 2014,” he said.  

The limited Nationwide schedule will give Reed an opportunity to compete in front his hometown fans this year as he plans to run the family-owned super late model in a number of races at the new Kern Country Raceway Park.

“We ran the super late model at Irwindale a couple of years ago (he was rookie of the year in 2010) so it has a special place in my heart,” he said. “Right now the Nationwide schedule is pretty limited so we have a lot of gaps in our schedule to where I can race some super late model races.”