STAFFORD – Spin and win?
That wasn’t just old racing cliché Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway for Ryan Preece, it was the overriding theme of a doubly victorious night of Modified racing for the Berlin driver.
After rallying from a spin early to win the 40-lap SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway, Preece repeated the feat, coming back from a first lap spin to win NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour TSI Harley-Davidson 125 at Stafford.
“This is definitely a career night,” Preece said. “This is unreal.”
Ron Silk of Norwalk was second and Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, Pa. third.
It was the sixth career Whelen Modified Tour victory for Preece and his second at Stafford Motor Speedway, where he also competes weekly in the SK Modified division. Preece leads the standings now on both the Whelen Modified Tour and Stafford’s SK Modified division.
Preece started second to pole-winner Bobby Santos. On the first lap Preece looked like he had the power to get by Santos for the lead. The two were side-by-side in turn four when Santos locked up the brakes and slid up into Preece. The contact cut Preece’s left rear tire and sent him spinning.
“It wasn’t intentional I don’t think,” Preece said. “When you get on the brakes real hard the nose just slides. I think that’s what happened. To tell you the truth, I’m happy it did [happen] because we came in, we adjusted our car, we made it even better on the stop and that was just awesome. Maybe I should thank Bobby.”
Preece restarted the event last in the 26-car field. Once the race did get going, it was Silk who went around Santos for the lead and looked to have the dominant car for much of the event.
Preece worked his way back up to 13th when he pitted for tires around lap 30. From there he methodically charged through the field back to the front.
On lap 97 Preece went by Doug Coby for second and began the charge toward Silk. After five laps of trying to wrestle the lead away, Preece used a cross over move to finally take the spot away from Silk on lap 107.
“This car was awesome,” Preece said. “… I don’t even know what to say. Those last 10 laps were the longest laps of my life. It’s been so long since I’ve been in victory lane here in a Tour Modified. I was just waiting for something to happen and nothing did. I can’t explain how happy I am.
“All the cautions worked in my favor. When I needed restarts I got restarts and when I needed the green flag run it was right at the end and it worked out. Everything just played in my favor tonight.”
Silk said there was no keeping Preece behind him in the late stages.
“I thought we had a good car,” Silk said. “My car started to go away right at the end there. I started freeing up. I’m sure it helped him that he was on 30 lap newer tires. I don’t know how much of a difference it made, his car looked like it was driving pretty good.”
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