Two Good: Ryan Preece Finishes Second To Kyle Busch In Xfinity Series Overton’s 200 At NHMS

Ryan Preece on track during Saturday’s Xfinity Series Overton’s 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)

LOUDON, N.H. – It’s a common refrain heard across the landscape of short track racing.

“How many articles have I read or seen, or short [track drivers] that you’ve heard of who have said ‘Man if I could just have that opportunity,’” Ryan Preece said of drivers talking about getting that one shot at a top level NASCAR series with a powerhouse team.

Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Preece, of Berlin, got to live the dream that so many short track drivers only ever dream. It was the chance to run a NASCAR Xfinity Series event for a powerhouse stock car racing team. And Preece represented short track racers in glorious fashion in his first career start with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Preece finished second to Monster Energy Cup Series star Kyle Busch in the Xfinity Series Overton’s 200 Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The 26-year old Preece is a regular on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour – where he was the 2013 series champion – and a longtime regular in the weekly SK Modified divisions at Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway.

“What I really want to say is that this one is for all the short track guys out there that work week in and week in their race shops, getting ready to go on Friday nights and Saturday nights,” Preece said. “That’s what I do on my weekly grind. Monday morning I’m going to go back to work on my Modified to race on Friday. It means a lot to do it on this stage, to prove to people that I feel like I belong to be here. I would only get better with more seat time.”

Preece spent last year running full-time in the Xfinity Series with the underfunded Johnny Davis Motorsports team. He finished 17th in the series standings and stepped away from the ride after the 2016 season with the plan that he was better off chasing part-time opportunities with upper level organizations. He got that chance when Joe Gibbs Racing signed him to a two-race deal for Saturday’s race at NHMS and the July 29 Xfinity Series event at Iowa Speedway.

The second place in the Xfinity series event closed out a stellar weekend for Preece in Loudon. He won Friday’s Whelen Modified Tour All-Star Shootout and was second in the Whelen Modified Tour Eastern Propane & Oil 100 on Saturday prior to the Xfinity Series race.

“I like to win races,” Preece said. “… You really can’t complain if you get two seconds and a win in a weekend.”

Busch is the all-time winningest Xfinity Series driver with 89 victories, and he has won six of the last nine Xfinity Series events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway dating back to 2009.

“To win today was going to take beating Kyle Busch,” Preece said. “I’ve watched him win a lot of races in the Xfinity Series sitting on my couch at home so to be able to finish second to him today was a great accomplishment and something to build on.

“… We got second to Kyle Busch. What else can you do from there? Not quite the win, but it was definitely something.”

Preece started sixth in the Xfinity Series event and spent most of the event running in the top-five. He led two laps of the event.

“He just ran a good smart race,” Busch said. “From what I could see he just ran a smooth race and did a good job and kept his car under him. … He was keeping pace. … I think what was more impressive was him bouncing back and forth between as much as track time as he had with the Modified to deal with and then getting in the Xfinity car back and forth.”

Said Preece: “Iowa is the next task, the next goal. I’ve got to do as much as I can to prepare for there so we can have another solid finish. … To be able to have this opportunity means a lot to me. … A lot of people sacrificed a lot to put me in this car and that means a lot.”

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Comments

  1. Congrats, Ryan!! Get it again next weekend!!

  2. Billy Parker says:

    so…. is racedyct going to post ANY speedbowl results this year??? Yes? No?? Maybe???

  3. Come on JB racing sign this kid to a contract. more northerners will watch the xfinity series with interest.you need our fan base as well . Ryan is the real deal…..

  4. Glad to see preece finish 2nd but could have been the worst race I have ever seen anywhere. Then the k and n race after topped it. NASCAR has a lot of problems with both these series not being very competitive.

  5. Billy,
    I am in Loudon covering the events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend. I have not received any official results from the track regarding the events this evening at the Speedbowl.

  6. crazy larry says:

    JB Racing move on !!!!!!!!

  7. jeffrey says:

    Waterford results are on
    Who cares !!!!!
    Preece is making big news around the country
    He is better than Kyle Bush
    Ryan only took 2 tires
    Should of won race
    After Iowa he will be signed with Gibbs I hope.
    Kyle and Ryan teammates at Gibb
    I can see Ryan dominating monster series next year
    He sets up his car and gives hendrix

  8. Shawn , anything on K and N , couple of local guys in that in that race or non race according to Franky

  9. Yes I know Joe Gibbs racing supplied a top line car. And no one doubts Preece’s ability to get around the NHMS. And yes Preece has the experience of a lackluster season in the Xfinity Series. But this is huge. To simply drop in to any race in this very competitive national series with a strange car and team and pull off a second is big. And congratulations to Joe Gibbs Racing for recognizing that the Preece of 2016 that started 33 races in the Xfinity Series and had one top 10 finish was an equipment deficiency and not the driver.

  10. Great run, Ryan!

  11. He ran an excellent race and had a lot of positive commentary/tv time. I hope this leads to greater things for the kid..

    Great job Ryan!!

  12. NH Mark says:

    Good run for Preece. Did exactly what he needed with the opportunity handed to him. Well done. Ryan got a ton of tv coverage. He brings home these cars in one piece week after week. I hope he gets more races based on yesterday’s results.

  13. Pitkat crashed in practice and didn’t race and Seuss finished 14 or 15 out of 20 cars.

  14. Elect,
    Woody Pitkat’s team withdrew from the event. Eddie MacDonald was 12th and Andy Seuss was 13th. 21 cars started. Todd Gilliland won.

  15. darealgoodfella says:

    Second place to Kyle Busch in the xfinity series is first place in the real world.

  16. Would someone please give me a good reason why NASCAR keeps letting the cup drivers race in the Xfinity Series? How does that promote this series? I am soooo sick of that punk K.B. winning most of the Xfinity races that he is in!

  17. Seekonk fan says:

    congrats to ryan, but I wouldn’t count on anything more than a 2 race deal. Dale Shaw did a 1 race deal at Dover in the old Busch series against a full field and a lot more competition and got 2nd. Never got him a ride.

  18. I wonder What would happen if Jeffrey and dareal mated ? Anyone .

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