STAFFORD – Ryan Preece is making it simple thus far to keep track of the SK Modified division winners in 2014 at Stafford Motor Speedway.
Preece, of Berlin, held off Ted Christopher over the closing laps to win the 40-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified feature Friday at Stafford Speedway.
In was the second win as many events this year at Stafford for Preece, who also won in the track’s NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler season opener on April 27.
Christopher, of Plainville, was second and Doug Coby of Milford third.
“I’m happy, two wins here,” Preece said. “… We earned tonight’s for sure. I think we’re going to look back on our notes and try to make some adjustments to make the car a little bit better next week.”
Preece is in his first season competing for team owner Steve Greer, who fielded a car for division champion Woody Pitkat last year. Preece fell two points short of Pitkat in the standings in 2013.
Preece started eighth in the field Friday after winning the season opener.
“I’m really happy for Steve right now,” Preece said. “He’s ecstatic. At the shop he was like ‘Oh man, the handicap’ and he was a little nervous and I’m like ‘It’s fun coming from the back, we like doing that deal.’”
Preece used a huge jump on the outside, helped by a push from Christopher, to go by Joey Cipriano for the lead on a lap 14 restart and never trailed again, though Christopher made it interesting near the end.
“The whole race we were just tight,” Preece said. “Everything just fell our way. Teddy pushed me on that restart. He got a good start, I got a good start. We got by [Cipriano] and just kind of kept going. … Those last two laps I just got so tight. It was out of nowhere. I didn’t know if I had a tire going down or what. I just tried to keep it in front of Ted.”
Said Christopher: “We were coming at the end, but catching somebody and passing somebody are two different things.”
The race was red flagged early for a scary incident when Rowan Pennink got two wheels up the backstretch wall and ended up flipping on his roof and sliding while upside down toward tune three. Pennink walked away from the crash.