When Ryan Preece arrives at a Florida race track in February he is expected to be one of the contenders. On Saturday at Bronson Speedway, Preece didn’t even see the green flag after a massive practice crash. On Monday at New Smyrna Speedway, Preece dominated most of the 50-lap race before a mechanical failure sidelined him prematurely. But on Tuesday night, Preece’s fortune finally changed in his favor as he scored the win in the 35-lap Tour-type Modified feature.
Preece took the lead from Matt Hirschman just prior to the halfway mark and never looked back.
“When you beat that guy right there in that 60 car that’s saying something,” said Ryan Preece on the FansChoice.TV broadcast in victory lane. “All of these guys behind me have worked their butts off this week. This is just awesome. This is definitely the way I wanted to start off yesterday, but to be able to do it tonight makes it a little sweeter.”
Early in the race Preece and Hirschman ran an identical lap time to the thousandth of a second. Even after Preece took the lead, he and Hirschman were still running mostly identical lap times until just a few laps to go.
“I knew I had a really good car,” explained Preece. “He was better than me in some places, and I was better than him. Ultimately, the hole opened up and I got underneath him and got a run. Once I got by him we were kind of even and then I was able to inch away.”
At the end of 35 laps, it was Preece across the line first followed by Hirschman, Jimmy Blewett, Patrick Emerling and Timmy Solomito.
Preece told Speed51.com reporters before the evening began that he was hoping his bad luck would change at some point this week. He said he wasn’t even hoping for good luck, but instead to just have no luck at all.
“We’ve done our homework. I don’t want any luck. I want to make my own way to victory lane,” said Preece. “We started fourth and got some breaks, but we earned our way here.”
The Tour-type Modifieds will run their second-longest race of the week on Wednesday night, the John Blewett III Memorial 76.
For an on-demand replay of Tuesday’s Trackside Now coverage presented by Riverhead Building Supply and Jerico Performance Products, click here.
For full results from Night #5 of New Smyrna’s World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, click here.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com