Team owner Eddie Partridge was itching to race far more than the typical 14 or so events offered on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
Ryan Preece was looking to find a team that gave him the opportunity to race more away from the Whelen Modified Tour.
And the paths came together.
Ryan Preece announced Monday afternoon that he would leave Flamingo Motorsports to compete for Partridge on the Whelen Modified Tour, and beyond, in 2015.
Preece, of Berlin, broke the news of the change himself via Facebook and Twitter early Monday afternoon.
Preece said a big reason for the change is that driving for Partridge will afford him the opportunity to race in more events away from the Whelen Modified Tour.
Preece drove three seasons full-time for the Eric Sanderson owned Flamingo Motorsports team, winning his first series title in 2013. He had second place finishes in the standings for the team in 2012 and this season. He competed in the final event of the 2011 season for the team after seven-time series champion Mike Stefanik left the ride.
“It had nothing to do with performance,” Preece said. “We had performance and everybody with the team worked hard. It was just an opportunity where I’m able to race a little bit more. … We all worked really good together for three years. We won a championship and got two seconds. It wasn’t easy, but it ended up being the move I felt I had to make.”
Partridge announced a little over a week ago that he was parting way with longtime driver Ron Silk of Norwalk. Silk won a championship driving for the team in 2011.
“I want to race a little bit more,” Partridge said. “We’ve only just been going to the Tour shows the last couple years and a couple Riverhead [Raceway] shows, but I’ve wanted to go to Oswego, and go to Seekonk, anything that comes available I always wanted to go to, but the other guys were kind of set in their ways. I used to race more than 100 races a year between the [Tour Type Modifieds] and [SK Modifieds] and now I’m racing 14 races a year thinking ‘Why even do this?’
“We’re going to concentrate wherever we can go. We’re hearing the [Valenti Modified Racing Series] might be making some adjustments so the Tour motors can run there. We’ll see what happens.”
In 42 events with Flamingo Motorsports since late 2011 Preece had eight victories, 24 top-five’s and 30 top-10’s. He closed out his time with the organization by winning the NAPA Auto Parts Fall Final at Stafford Motor Speedway on Sept. 28 and Sunday’s season ending Sunoco World Series 150 at Thompson Speedway. They were his only two victories of the 2014 season.
Preece and Partridge won’t wait long to get their new relationship moving. Preece will drive for Partridge at the North-South Shootout at Caraway Speedway in Sophia, N.C. on Nov. 1.
“It’s better to start sooner than later,” Preece said. “Eddie said to me point blank that he wants to race and that’s something that I’ve always wanted to do.”