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The Sports Journal

Preece Finishes Second at New Hampshire Motor Speedway


Ryan Preece, of Berlin, has been racing his whole life. Preece is a Whelan Modified Series Champion with an extensive career in that series and last year had the opportunity to run full time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for JD Motorsports. Since his stint at JD Motorsports Ryan put all of his focus an attention back into his Modified series car but wasn’t sure if, or when, he would get back into an Xfinity car.

“Carl Edwards retiring (from the NASCAR Monster Energy Series and Joe Gibbs Racing) seemed to open up opportunities” Preece said since his second place finish behind Kyle Busch at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 15. “I called Steve Desouza and left him a voicemail and got a call back around January-February and got a chance to drive the #20 car for Joe Gibbs.”

Other NASCAR drivers in the premier Monster Energy Series (formerly the Spring Cup Series), such as Dale Earnhardt, Jr. have complemented Preece on his performance in the Xfinity Series in the past, and Ryan has seemed to garner more and more attention ever since. Now with this second place finish at New Hampshire, which even was hard for winner Kyle Busch to ignore in his post-win interview with NBCSN, Preece’s hopes are still there to go further into his racing career in NASCAR.

Preece reflected on coming up from the NASCAR Hometracks in his interview with NBCSN after the race, and with the City Journal, that his opportunity is certainly possible for someone working their way up. “I did what I planned on doing, making a believer out of people and showing I can win,” Preece said.

Preece had been in the Top 10 in the last stage of the race, being in 1st place for a while as well during the race starting from sixth in qualifying. Ryan was competing with some of the best in the sport; Kyle Busch, Brad Keslowski and Kyle Larson from Lap 100 on.

When asked to describe his finish at New Hampshire, Preece did not really know what was going on at first. “When Brad got that penalty (near the end of Stage 3) I didn’t know if Kyle (Busch) got one either. But Brad’s penalty made it real for me (when Ryan looked up at the Scoring Pole in his car) and holding onto second, even though winning is the goal, was the idea from that point forward.”

For now, Ryan Preece is watching YouTube videos to help in preparations for the race two weeks from now. Preece’s team will more than likely start working with him again a week before the race since they are focused on Indy next week.

For future races, Preece is a certainly a driver with a solid focus, always looking at the next race and building on what was done in the past, but not letting anything stand in the way. Nothing else is in the works with regards to the Xfinity Series for now other than another run with the Joe Gibbs team in Iowa after the Brickyard (Indianapolis Motor Speedway) Lilly Diabetes 250 race next week. Preece wants to repeat, in the #20 car, what was done in New Hampshire at Iowa but this time with the win in hand.

The next race Preece will be in is the US Cellular 250 Presented by American Ethanol Saturday, July 29, 2017 at 3:30PM. The race will be on NBC, streaming online on NBC Sports and on MRN Radio.