Growing up in the state of Connecticut, Ryan Preece eats, sleeps and breathes Tour-Type Modified racing. He’ll have a chance to do exactly that during the 50th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway (FL), but before he does that he has plans to roar around the fast half-mile in a car that actually has fenders on it.
Preece, the defending Tour-Type Modified champion at New Smyrna, will be racing the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season-opener, the JET Tools 150, on Sunday, February 14 for car owner Ted Marsh in the Whelen Engineering Chevrolet.
Preece has five wins at New Smyrna Speedway, all behind the wheel of a Tour-Type Modified. He credits New Smyrna as one of his best race track, but he’s never run a heavier stock car at New Smyrna before.
“To be honest, I thought driving the K&N car at Richmond that they drove pretty well with the way these cars are set up now,” Preece told Speed51.com powered by JEGS on Friday morning. “There’s very minimal body roll. Obviously the corner speeds won’t be as high as a Modified, but it’s a race car. I’m really excited to run this race with Ted Marsh and his Whelen Motorsports team. They’re a fun and dedicated group of guys.”
The 25-year-old Berlin, Connecticut native was supposed to make a K&N East start at the 2015 season finale at the Dover International Speedway for Marsh, but rain forced the race to Saturday morning and caused a conflict for Preece as he attempted to chase his second NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour title.
Preece will be racing all five nights in the Tour-Type Modified division at New Smyrna starting on Monday, February 15, but first he will head to Bronson Speedway in Florida to race on Saturday, February 13. That same Saturday is the practice day for the K&N teams at New Smyrna.
He said he and both of his teams have already figured out how to test both cars at both race tracks without conflict.
“The plan right now is to test the Modified on Thursday at New Smyrna,” said Preece. “Then we go to Bronson Friday and practice the Modified there. We’ll go back to New Smyna on Saturday and test Saturday in the K&N car and leave from there to head to Bronson. The schedules worked very well. Bronson doesn’t open its gates until 2 p.m on Saturday and racing doesn’t begin until 5 so I have plenty of time to travel. So now my Speedweeks is pretty much how it used to be. I’m in a race car from Thursday until the following Saturday and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Preece will be making his first start at Daytona International Speedway in a Johnny Davis Motorsports-owned NASCAR Xfinity Series car the following Saturday.
He said the best way to start off what is set to be a huge week for him would be getting his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win on Sunday at New Smyrna.
“I’m definitely going to give it my all,” said Preece. “As a racer, we go out there to compete and win. Ted, Todd and the whole Marsh team are going to give it their all just like I will be. I would love to get back to victory lane and it would be awesome to get my first K&N Series win. We will just need to be smart with our decisions and tire management and we will be in good shape.”
Speed51.com will be on-hand at New Smyrna Speedway to power NASCAR Hometracks’ Race Central Live coverage of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East JET Tools 150 on February 14.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com