Ryan Preece may be from Connecticut, but when it comes to Whelen Modified Tour action, he’s made himself the Lord of Long Island.
Preece’s dominance of Whelen Modified Tour action at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway continued Saturday evening as he took the lead late and went on to win the Green Earth Technologies 200 at the quarter-mile bullring.
It was the third consecutive victory in Whelen Modified Tour action at Riverhead for Preece, who also runs regularly in the Tour Type weekly division at the track.
Preece, of Berlin, took the lead from Timmy Solomito on lap 177 and never trailed again Saturday. It was his series leading fourth victory of the season.
“It seemed like every restart I got a little bit better and a little bit better,” Preece said. “Maybe he was just getting a little freer up off [the corners]. We were able to muscle our way in there and get by him and come out with the victory.”
Solomito, a regular at Riverhead who scored his first career series pole Saturday, led the first 176 laps of the event. Solomito, of Islip, N.Y., settled for a third place after getting passed for second by Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, N.Y. on lap 193.
Preece held a 2.314 second lead over Bonsignore at the checkered. It was Preece’s ninth career Whelen Modified Tour victory and he matched Mike Ewanitsko as the only drivers ever to win three consecutive tour events at Riverhead.
In his last seven Modified Tour starts dating back to 2008, Preece has three victories, a second, a fourth and a fifth. With continued success also at the quarter-mile Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. over the past few seasons, Preece has established himself in the division as the reigning king of the bullrings.
“I think my driving style just suits them,” Preece said. “I really like a loose car. And if my not loose I try to make it a little loose so I can really work the car and make it do what I want to do. Without the car I had I wouldn’t be in victory lane. I’ve just been very fortunate. I’ve been in the right places at the right time. The right cars, we’ve had everything we need, forward drive, cut, rolling the center, everything we need we’ve had.”
The victory, coupled with a 15th place by Doug Coby, stretched Preece’s points lead over Coby in the standings to 39 with three events remaining this season.
The Whelen Modified Tour returns to action Saturday in the F.W. Webb 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
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