Competing in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour ranks since 2007, Ryan Preece has built up an impressive resume that includes a tour championship in 2013, a win at Martinsville Speedway (VA), and wins at tracks like Stafford Motor Speedway (CT) and Riverhead Raceway (NY). Despite his impressive resume, one win that has eluded Preece throughout his career has been the granddaddy of them all, a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour win at New Hampshire.
“I was just thinking about it earlier,” said Preece. “It’s kind of like when Dale Earnhardt was trying to win the Daytona 500. I haven’t been in the Modified series nearly as long as Mike Stefanik had or Ted Christopher has, but they’ve won there.”
Heading into the weekend, one in which he’ll be competing in four different races at two different tracks, Preece’s main focus will be on capturing the win that has eluded him for so long. When asked how bad he wanted to win the Sunoco 100 on Saturday, Preece couldn’t come up with the words to describe it.
“To try to win this race, it’s just so hard,” Preece told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “It’s a race that every Modified guy wants to win. As far as stressing how bad I want to win it, I don’t even think there’s a chart for that.”
During last year’s July race at New Hampshire, Preece was a strong contender for the win and led a total of 29 laps before finishing third. The 2013 NWMT champion plans to give it everything he has on Saturday afternoon and hopes to be in a position at the end to win the Super Bowl of Modified racing.
“We’ve worked so hard at it and we had a really good car last year in the spring race,” said Preece. “Unfortunately, we didn’t have the right situation on the last lap and I think we broke our primary motor in practice. I’m going to try everything I can and my team is going to try everything they can and hopefully you’ll see us in victory lane.”
In addition to competing in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Sunoco 100 on Saturday, Preece will also be entering the NWMT Whelen All-Star Shootout at NHMS on Friday, a 40-lap SK Modified feature at Stafford Motor Speedway (CT) on Friday night, and the 200-lap NASCAR Nationwide Series event at NHMS on Saturday.
Last year when Preece pulled double duty at New Hampshire competing in the NWMT and NASCAR Nationwide Series events, the 23-year-old driver could be seen running back and forth between garage areas with his helmet in hand. This weekend he’s unsure of how he’ll get around, but he’s been training just in case he’ll need to travel on foot once again.
“I’ve been running a lot for the past month,” said Preece. “I’ve been running three miles a day. I’ve been pretty much getting ready to run from garage to garage. I’m lucky, though. My uncle is coming with his golf cart so maybe I’ll hitch a ride from him.
“It’s all about being prepared, having your schedule ready, and being where you need to be.”
Preece will have his schedule in hand and, if all goes well, he’s hoping a few adjustments will need to be made in order to squeeze in multiple trips to victory lane this weekend.
– Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Northeast Editor. Twitter: @BrandonPaul
Photo Credits: Speed51.com