2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ryan Preece will begin a new chapter in his racing career at the North-South Shootout on November 1 at Caraway Speedway (NC). Preece of Berlin, Connecticut told Speed51.com on Monday afternoon that he will be competing in the North-South Shootout in the Ed Partridge-owned No. 6 and that race will be the beginning of a relationship that will extend to the 2015 NWMT season with Preece driving the car full-time.
“I’m going to be in the number-six car next year,” Preece told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be a new chapter. We’ll see if I can pick up where I left off two years ago.”
Preece made the announcement one day after winning the Sunoco World Series with his previous team, the Flamingo Motorsports No. 16 team. He said that he’s very appreciative of everything car owner Eric Sanderson has done for him and was very glad to come out on top in their last race together.
“Eric Sanderson and the Flamingo team has done nothing but great things for me,” said Preece. “We won a championship together. We won eight races together. It’s been nothing but the best. Eric is a phenomenal guy to race for and whoever winds up in that car is going to be a lucky guy.
“We had three strong years together. We ended it the right way and the way any team wishes they could. I was really happy for those guys to win those last two races and be part of that team for as long as I was.”
Driving the No. 6 car for Ed Partridge, Preece will have more opportunities to race non-NWMT events and gain more experience behind the wheel. He has plans to race the North-South Shootout, New Smyrna Speedweeks and possibly a few open races in 2015.
“It’s going to be a deal where I’m going to race more,” said Preece. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I feel like this is an opportunity do that. It’s going to be fun. I feel like those guys are a good bunch of guys. I’ve talked to Eddie over the phone and I’ve know Eddie for a long time. He’s another great guy. This sport is lucky to have people like Eric Sanderson and Eddie Partridge.”
With a championship driver in Preece pairing up with a championship team, most would expect the primary goal to be a championship in 2015. Although Preece didn’t deny that, he said he’s more focused on just winning races.
“Every year, I go about championships and everything the same,” said Preece. “Some people think I’m crazy for it, but I just try to go win race. I’m the kind of driver that wants to run up front and win races. We definitely did that at Flamingo. The reason for me leaving is certainly not performance. Next year I’m just looking forward to this opportunity where we can perform, do everything we can do and race some more, too.”
Preece, who will be making his second NASCAR Nationwide Series start of the season at Homestead-Miami in November, said that he’s committed to Modifieds in 2015 but won’t rule out possibilities of racing at a higher level.
“I’m definitely committed to Modifieds, but at the same time if I get a call to do something down there that is something that every driver dreams of,” Preece said. “We’ll see where that goes, but right now I’m setting up what I have and trying to get ready for 2015.”
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Northeast Editor