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THOMPSON, Conn. – If there’s one thing that NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship points leader Ryan Preece doesn’t have to worry about this weekend at Thompson Speedway, it's finding speed.
Preece, from Berlin, Conn., enters the season finale Sunoco World Series 150 presented by Xtra Mart with a 26-point lead on defending champion Doug Coby. With a finish of 22nd or better in the event on Sunday, the 22-year-old would wrap up his first Whelen Modified Tour title.
In practice Saturday at the .625-mile oval, Preece and the No. 16 East West Marine/Sophie’s Rest Ford team proved that they’re ready for the challenge as they paced the 75-minute practice session with a fast lap of 18.610 seconds (120.903 mph).
A four-time race winner this year, Preece will look for his first pole of the season in Coors Light Pole qualifying today at 2:30 p.m.
Defending race winner Bobby Santos finished second on the practice chart at 18.641 (120.702). He also won the Whelen Modified Tour’s previous event at Thompson in August.
Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award winner Cole Powell ranked third in practice at 18.656 (120.605) followed by Rowan Pennink at 18.679 (120.456) and Woody Pitkat at 18.690 (120.385).
Donny Lia, Mike Stefanik, Todd Szegedy, Timmy Solomito and Keith Rocco brought home the top 10. Coby finished practice 15th-fastest.
The Sunoco World Series 150 presented by Xtra Mart will go green on Sunday at approximately 3:30 p.m.