Ryan Preece is making NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour rallies his calling card.
On June 14 Preece, of Berlin, rallied from a first lap spin at Stafford Motor Speedway to win the TSI Harley-Davidson 125.
Saturday at Riverhead Raceway Preece put on his “Comback Kid” hat again.
Preece overcame a flat tire midway through the event and led the final 14 laps to win the Whelen Modified Tour Hoosier Tire 200 Saturday at Riverhead Raceway.
Eric Goodale of Riverhead, N.Y. was second and John Beatty Jr. of Merrick, N.Y., a weekly competitor at Riverhead, was third.
It was the third consecutive Whelen Modified Tour victory for Preece. He used a pass of Doug Coby on a green-white-checkered final restart on June 22 to win the Mr. Rooter 161 at the Waterford Speedbowl.
“It’s just a dream season right now,” said Preece, who left Riverhead stretching his lead in the standings from 16 to 32 points.
Preece became the first driver since Donny Lia in 2007 to win three consecutive events in one season. Ted Christopher accomplished the feat by winning the season ending event in 2008 and the first two events of the 2009 season.
“To be able to put my name on the list as one of the people that have done it, it’s definitely phenomenal,” Preece said.
Preece was leading when a flat tire on a restart sent him to the pits on lap 93. He then methodically battled back to the front.
On a lap 194 restart, race leader Ted Christopher spun to the infield, actually hitting the track’s pace car. It handed Preece the lead and he was able to hold off all challengers on a final green-white-checkered restart.
“I’m one of those people that when I go to the back, I’m not going to sit there and wait for wrecks to happen to pick off spots,” Preece said. “I’m going to use every lane that’s available to me to drive to the front. When you have a car like I had tonight, that’s really good. As the fuel burned off I was getting faster and faster. We were fortunate. It’s not me. It’s a little bit of driving, a lot of car and a lot of luck. I’m on cloud nine right now and I’m just riding the wave.”
Preece has now won three of five Whelen Modified Tour events in 2013 and he also has four SK Modified victories at Stafford this year, one at Thompson and a weekly Tour Type Modified division victory at Riverhead.
“Winning four races at Stafford, winning a race at Riverhead, winning a race at Thompson, winning three races on the Modified Tour,” Preece said. “You don’t get many seasons like this and we’re only in July so we’re just going to keep plugging away.”
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