Ryan Preece is no stranger to ambitious racedays. The 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion from Berlin, Connecticut has run many doubleheaders in both SK Modified and Whelen Modified Tour competition at his home tracks of Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Twice he has also done this at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in a full-time Tour ride and a one-off appearance in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
For 2016, things are much more ambitious running full-time for Johnny Davis Motorsports in the Xfinity Series while going part-time with the Eddie Partridge Modified team. But also add on the No. 31 Marsh Racing ride in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East ride to create a triple-header for this Saturday at Loudon and you have the most ambitious day yet. While running two races at the “Magic Mile” has proven to be more than manageable, three is a new but exciting challenge for Preece.
“It’s just running two races in a row, nothing really that you haven’t ever done before. But three in a row, that’s going to be something different. I don’t think I’ve ever really done that before, so it will be a fun-filled day. Definitely going to be a hot Saturday, going to drink a lot of water for sure.” Preece told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
Preece will make his first start at Loudon running in the K&N East Series, while making his third start in the Xfinity Series. As for the Modifieds, Saturday will be his 20th career start in a Modified where he continues to hunt for an elusive win at NHMS. Preece has posted a best finish of third on four separate occasions while having a number of shots at the checkers over the years.
Preece’s best chance came just last September, but a hard battle with Doug Coby sent Preece spinning at the white flag while leading. Despite the close calls and occasional frustration, Preece feels like he does not have a monkey on him when running at Loudon.
“I wouldn’t say a monkey on your back it’s kind of when things happen like motors blowing, getting a flat tire, or running out fuel. I think we just got to put ourselves in the right place at the right time this weekend, know who we are racing and hopefully we can finally get that win.”
Preece’s main focus remains furthering the Xfinity Series effort with the No. 01 team in what has been a tumultuous first half of 2016. Loudon is a race that the team is most looking forward to as it is the one track that Preece does not have to learn coming in. Add to that a solid top-15 at Kentucky last Friday night and Preece feels this is the opportunity to score their biggest finish yet.
“No doubt. It’s definitely a place I have plenty of laps on. You’re not going to be struggling to find out what you’re doing for the first two or three laps, so we should be good right off the truck and just work on the racecar, that’s pretty much all we need to do.” Preece said confidently. “We have had a monkey on our back the first half of the season I would say. Kentucky was almost a breath of fresh air. Especially going into New Hampshire, that’s a race I would like to carry some momentum into. We’re ready to go and really excited to get there.”
It will also be full day for Preece on Friday as well, which includes practice for all three divisions, qualifying for K&N East, and the 40-lap Whelen All-Star Challenge for Modified competitors. Speed51.com will be on site all weekend long for full coverage on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and updates on Preece’s efforts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com State Editor (CT, MA, Long Island) – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/Rick Ibsen photo