Ryan Preece knows that the competition on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour is stiff, and because of that no driver can afford to waste time. On Friday night at Stafford Motor Speedway (CT), Preece wasted no time after pit stops near the halfway point of the Call Before You Dig 150. In just two laps, the Berlin, Connecticut driver jumped from sixth to the lead before pulling away for his second straight victory at the Stafford Springs, Connecticut oval.
“I like coming from the back,” Preece said after the race. “It’s a lot of fun, but I like winning more. We did a little bit of both today. We got our track position when we needed to and made all of the right calls. We drove forward when we needed to and got the lead then just kind of rode there with Teddy (Christopher).”
After not even cracking the top-five during the first half of the race, Preece exited pit road in the sixth position. He used a strong move to jump by Doug Coby for the third position on lap 81 before diving to the inside of Ted Christopher for the lead on lap 82.
“It was a hornet’s nest out there for quite a while,” Preece explained. “It all cleared out and we made the lanes we needed to make. We picked up the positions slowly and surely and got us into a position where we came in for the pit stop. Those guys had a clean stop, got me out there and got me in the lane that I needed to be in. We drove to the top and made it all work. Everything kind of went our way.”
Preece survived the race’s final restart on lap 90 and then pulled away from the field before beating fellow championship contender Doug Coby to the line by over two seconds.
After the race, Coby was left frustrated with the level of aggressive driving by his fellow competitors.
“Probably when everybody just kept driving into my door,” Coby said when asked about when he thought the lead got away from him. “It felt like it was Riverhead out there. From the drop of the green it seemed like everybody was trying to get every spot. I don’t know if they’re starting to drive desperate or whatever but I felt like I was a ping pong ball out there about six times.”
The win for Preece is his third of the season and earns him valuable championship points with just six races remaining. He entered the race just three points behind Woody Pitkat, who finished third on Friday night.
“This is probably the most intense battle that we’ve ever been part of,” Preece said of the championship battles. “I won today and I see Doug and then I see Woody right there. It’s not easy. You’ve got to run consistently top-three. That’s what it’s going to come down to. Whoever wins these races gets all these bonus points.”
Ted Christopher scored his best finish of the season at Stafford with a fourth-place effort. Justin Bonsignore completed the top-five.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to action in just five days when they visit Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT) for the Budweiser King of Beers 150.
Editor’s Note: On-demand updates from the Call Before You Dig 150 can be found by visiting NASCAR Home Tracks Race Central Live powered by Speed51.com.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Tim Bradbury/Getty Images for NASCAR
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Call Before You Dig 150 Unofficial Results
Stafford Motor Speedway (CT) – August 7, 2015