Weighing in at more than 300 calories each, McDonald’s cheeseburgers aren’t exactly the ideal pre-race meal for a short track racecar driver. For Ryan Preece, they were the lunch of champions Saturday.
Preece scarfed down a few McDonald’s cheeseburgers leading up to round two of the World Series Saturday night. Doing so kept his TS Haulers No. 6 within the weight rules, which it wasn’t Friday night in the opening round of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway.
Preece was disqualified for being below the Tour-Type Modified weight limits after a dominating round one victory. Saturday, the burgers and some additional added weight kept Preece out front once again and within the post-race tech process for an official victory in the 35-lap feature.
“Well I decided to go to McDonalds, eat a couple burgers and try to do my part,” Preece told Speed51.com powered by JEGS following his victory Saturday. “We added a little bit of lead and I tried to do my part by eating some burgers so I think we’ve got it tonight.”
Preece cruised to an almost full-straightaway victory in Friday night’s unofficial victory before it was taken away, but Saturday it wasn’t as easy. Chuck Hossfeld hounded the back bumper of Preece’s Modified for much of the second half of Saturday’s 35-lapper, but he was able to keep his Troyer chassis racecar ahead of Hossfeld and JR Bertuccio for the official victory.
“It wasn’t easy,” added Preece. “Those last five laps I had (spotter) Freddie Kraft in my ear helping out every bit. That’s where all the weekly series stuff comes to effect. I just got to the front as quick as I could and just held my line from there.
“(We’re) one of two, but we’ve been to victory lane twice so I’m pretty happy.”
Hossfeld himself bounced back from a tough World Series opener with his runner-up finish Saturday. Friday night, Hossfeld spun out of a top-five position and had to make a pit stop before rallying back for a sixth-place finish Friday, but Saturday he finished a close second to Preece. The run was a momentum-builder for Hossfeld’s team before the scheduled two-day break for the World Series Modifieds Sunday and Monday.
“Last night wasn’t the best for us and I wanted to improve and have a good day before we took off,” said Hossfeld. “It’s so hard to get a good car down here, let alone run well. But I think we’ll get a couple wins before the end of the week.”
JR Bertuccio scored a second-straight podium finish Saturday, but it didn’t come without incident. Early-race contact with Justin Bonsignore left Bertuccio with a wrist injury that he used as motivation to score the third-place result.
“Early on Justin caught me in the left front and I think I broke my wrist from it, but it is what it is,” said Bertuccio. “All you can do is try. The guys calmed me back down and I got dialed back in and we just kept trying. I’ve broken (the wrist) before so it should be okay. I ran that race with it and it was fine so it shouldn’t bother me.”
Bonsignore, the official winner of Friday night’s opener, finished fourth Saturday night. Jimmy Zacharias rounded out the top five.
The Tour-Type Modified division will be back in action on Monday, February 16 with another 35-lap feature.
– By Matt Kentfield, Speed51.com Executive Director – Twitter: @MattKentfield
– Photo credit: Speed51.com