THOMPSON, Conn. – Just one week after making the announcement of his life, Ryan Preece has committed to returning to his modified roots next weekend. Preece, a native of Berlin, Connecticut, will return to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park to compete in the Sunoco World Series 150 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
The race will come just days after he announced that he will compete full-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driving for JTG Daugherty Racing in 2019. Preece, who will also finish this season driving in the remaining NASCAR Xfinity Series events for Joe Gibbs Racing, has two wins in 14 starts over the last two years driving for the champion car owner.
“We can compete throughout the season and reach goals that I have in mind and that the team has in mind, and that’s very exciting,” Preece said of his plans for next year. “When you are working at something for so long, and you finally get the opportunity, you want to make the most of it. It’s a dream come true to be honest with you. I can’t wait for next year.”
The 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion, who clinched that title on Thompson’s high-banks five years ago next weekend, has two wins in Whelen Modified Tour competition already in 2018. In 10 starts driving for Ed Partridge, Preece scored victories at Stafford Motor Speedway and Langley Speedway, and has finished fourth, fourth and 23rdin three stops at the Connecticut oval this season.
In 43 career Thompson starts, dating back to 2007, Preece has three wins and 20 top five finishes. He has also been at the front for 863 laps and has an average finish of 10.5 with only three DNF’s.
And, he won’t only bringing his Whelen Modified Tour car to the 56thannual Sunoco World Series. Preece will return to competition in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series, driving the No. 31 – a car he has already been to Victory Lane in this season.
“Thompson is always a place that I enjoy racing at, and racing for Albert and Cathy (in the Sunoco Modfieds) and for Ed (on the Whelen Modified Tour)… those are people that have really helped make me who I am today,” Preece said. “I feel like we can win. We’ve had a fast car there in the past with the Whelen Modified Tour and the Sunoco Modified.”
Preece, who grew up in the short track community in New England, now has the opportunity to move to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and compete for stock car racing’s ultimate championship prize. But, he isn’t forgetting his short-track modified roots, and, specifically the staple events in New England.
The Icebreaker and World Series weekends that Thompson holds each season are events like no other.
“The World Series is something special, for sure,” Preece said. “With people allowed to camp, and the three days of racing. I’ll be there for the full weekend and I’m really excited to get there. Hopefully we can win some races.”
Fans can also meet Preece as part of the Whelen Modified Tour autograph session, in the grandstands, at 2:15 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
“I’m looking forward to the autograph session, because there are going to be a lot of people that are excited for me,” Preece said.
His two races will be joined by 15 other events over the course of three days of racing action at the historic oval. Action gets underway on Friday, October 12, and will roll right through Sunday, October 14.