Fresh off of two straight wins to close out the 2014 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season, 2013 NWMT champion Ryan Preece is the latest name to be added to the 12th Annual John Blewett III North-South Shootout entry list.
Preece, of Berlin, Connecticut, will go for a second North-South Shootout victory at North Carolina’s Caraway Speedway on November 1 behind the wheel of the No. 6 TS Haulers machine owned by Ed Partridge. Preece will drive the No. 6 car full-time on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in 2015, but first he will be aiming for a second North-South Shootout victory.
“I’m excited,” said Preece. “It’s a head start on what’s going to be going on in 2015 with the No. 6 team. It’s going to be a new chapter with them and there would be no better way to kick things off than with a North-South Shootout win.”
In his eighth attempt at winning the John Blewett III North-South Shootout, Preece took home the checkered flag during the 2012 running of the race while driving the No. 7NY owned by Kevin “Bono” Manion. While Preece did not attend the 2013 event, he is excited to get back to Caraway on the weekend of November 1 and hopes to pick up right where he left off.
“I’ve learned a lot since then,” Preece said. “I always learn and I’m always learning new things. As long as I’ve been racing a Modified, I may almost be 24, but I’m always figuring something out. In this race, a lot of it is about saving tires and I feel like I enter this race with a better understanding of how to do that. I definitely think we have a good chance at bringing the hardware back home with us.”
If he is going to make his way to victory lane in the North-South Shootout, Preece knows that he’ll have to beat five-time and defending race winner Matt Hirschman. Hirschman has been a force to be reckoned with in open Modified shows during recent years, but Preece believes he has what it takes to overtake Hirschman and claim his second career North-South Shootout win.
“Racing with guys like Matt Hirschman in open shows, where Matt has been so dominant for so many years, is certainly a challenge for any driver,” said Preece. “I think I’m ready to race on his level and race and try to beat him. We’re going to see if we can do that in a couple weeks.”
When Preece straps into the Ed Partridge-owned No. 6 TS Haulers Modified at the North-South Shootout, it will be his first time behind the wheel of the car. Preece recently announced that he would be leaving the No. 16 Flamingo Motorsports team and joining the TS Haulers team full-time for the 2015 season. Preece won his final two starts in the Flamingo No. 16 at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
“It’s going to be a deal where I’m going to race more,” Preece told Speed51.com of his new opportunity with the TS Haulers team. “I’m going to be able to compete in more open races like the North-South Shootout. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I feel like this is an opportunity do that. It’s going to be fun.”
The 12th Annual North-South Shootout event will feature the Modifieds as well as the PASS South Super Late Models, Southeast Limited Late Model Series, USAC Midgets, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks and Legends Cars. Shootout weekend kicks off on Thursday, October 30 with practice for all divisions at Caraway Speedway. Racing action gets underway on Friday, October 31 with qualifying and several feature events. The John Blewett III North-South Shootout feature will take center stage on Saturday, November 1 along with PASS and more.
Caraway Speedway is located in Sophia, North Carolina near Asheboro and just minutes from Interstates 85 and 74.
For tickets and more on the 12th Annual North-South Shootout, visit www.carawayspeedway.com or call 336-629-5803.