STAFFORD – The “Getting To Know You” phase seems to be going swimmingly for Ryan Preece and his new Steve Greer owned SK Modified team at Stafford Motor Speedway.
In his first race for the team, Preece, of Berlin ran away with victory in the 40-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature at the NAPA Spring Sizzler Sunday at Stafford Speedway.
“That’s the [same car] I’ve had for the past three years, but, we’ve actually made some improvements on it and I think it showed today,” Preece said. “It’s a phenomenal car to drive.”
Danny Cates of Chaplin was second and Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, Pa. was third.
Woody Pitkat won the SK Modified division championship for the Greer owned team in 2013, but he was replaced by Preece with the team during the offseason. Preece had a track high eight victories in 18 SK Modified events in 2013 at Stafford and finished two points behind Pitkat in the standings.
“I just wanted to get this one out of the way and it was great to do it at Stafford,” Preece said.
Preece started 14th in the 28 car field. He was up to fourth by lap 13. On a lap 14 restart Pennink went past Joey Cipriano for the lead with Preece following to second. After another caution, Preece went by Pennink for the lead on a lap 15 restart and never trailed again.
At one point Preece had built nearly a straightaway lead over the field, though he said he was taking it easy.
“We have to use these tires for [the next two races] so I was trying to baby it to make sure I’d have something in the third week with them,” Preece said.
Cates went by Pennink for second place on a lap 35 restart.
“I’m really really happy with this,” Cates said. “We were fast all weekend. It’s kind of been our deal that we’re really fast all weekend and I screw it up or we miss it on the stagger or something. This weekend we were fast all weekend and we were fast again in the feature. Congratulations to Ryan. Those guys have their stuff together. That thing is rocket.”