Ryan Preece, North-South Shootout Winning Modified Team Levied Major Penalty For Tire Infraction

A six thousand dollar race winner’s payday for Ryan Preece and the Tour Type Modified team he raced for Saturday at the Colors Edge John Blewett III North-South Shootout at Caraway Speedway in Sophia, N.C. will be slashed by two-thirds for a rules infraction, track officials told RaceDayCT Monday evening.

Ryan Preece

Preece, who won the event, was racing for the 7NY team co-owned by Gary Putnam and Kevin “Bono” Manion. Putnam, a Vernon native and former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour crew chief, works full-time as a car chief for Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing Sprint Cup Series team with driver Jamie McMurray. Manion, a Boylston, Mass. native and former Whelen Modified Tour crew chief, is the crew chief for McMurray at Earnhardt-Ganasssi.

Track owner and promoter Renee Hackett confirmed Monday evening that the team was fined $4,000 for an unapproved tire change during the event.

Preece, a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour regular from Berlin, inherited the lead with four laps remaining in the 125-lap event Saturday at Caraway. It was his first victory in the 10th edition of the event.

Chuck Hossfeld of Ransomville, N.Y. was second and Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa. third. Preece was running fourth on lap 121 when then leader Woody Pitkat, second place Tommy Barrett Jr. and third place Burt Myers were involved in a crash together.

Hackett read a statement from the track addressing the issue: “Following the conclusion of the event, during the [North-South Shootout] officials breakdown meeting, it was discovered that [Ryan] Preece had made an unapproved tire change. The 7NY team claimed a tire on the car was flat, but it was not. Thus resulting in the use of an unapproved tire, as he had already changed two on a previous pit stop. To be considered flat, the tire must have 12 pounds or less of air pressure. The tire in question had 15 pounds of air when checked. During the driver’s meeting all drivers were informed of the tire change rule and air pressure requirements. Drivers were informed that they would be penalized if a tire change occurred without prior approval from a [North-South Shootout] official.”

Hackett said the $4,000 fine from Preece’s team will be redistributed to the teams that finished second through fifth. Hossfeld will be awarded an extra $2,500 and Hirschman an extra $1,000. Fourth place finisher Danny Bohn of Mooresville, N.C. will get an extra $300 and fifth place finisher Chris Pasteryak of Lisbon was given an extra $200.

The rules for the race said teams got a six-tire inventory for the event, which included the four tires the teams started on and two tires that could be changed during the event. Preece said the team never went outside their six-tire inventory.

“We came in and we changed the two tires, the right sides,” Preece said. “When we came back in it was because the right rear was going soft and we put our original right rear back on. That was in our six tire inventory. Ten laps later we came in and put on our original right front since the right rear was worn out. They claimed that it was an unapproved tire change when we put the original right rear on for 10 laps. So that is their issue that for those 10 laps it was an unapproved tire change.”

North-South Shootout competition director Tom Fox said the team used an unapproved third new tire during the event.

“My opinion and the opinion of my pit road officials is that he did go outside of his inventory, claiming they had a flat tire when the tire had 15 pounds of air in it,” Fox said. “We had a discussion about how everything went and that deal came up and we looked at it and recognized it as being a third tire change. Had I known it during the event I would have called him for a penalty. Finding out post race makes it slightly different so we thought this was the best way to handle it.”

Said Preece: “Post race tech, we passed, they scanned all four tires and it showed all green lights when they scanned it. There’s an apparent problem with a he said, she said story which was taking place after the race. We were not confronted in [post race] tech moments after the race nor even that night about this. It was over 24 hours later they said we made an illegal tire change for 15 laps during the event, which they claimed again was a [new] tire. Why would I change a [new] right rear tire? If this was the case there should be cars penalized for putting their original tires back on as I know for a fact that other teams did also. They checked our tires after the race we passed. We raced [by] the rules, I don’t cheat. Would I have won that race if [Woody Pitkat] and [Tommy Barrett Jr.] wreck? No way. It all just went my way. I didn’t win that race because of tires. I won it because of a great car, a great crew and never giving up. These are 100 percent facts, those were the tires we started the race on, we used our six original tires we were allowed to use.”

Preece finished second in the Whelen Modified Tour standings this year. He was one of three Whelen Modified Tour regulars competing in the event.

“Guys were on the radio during the race saying “How many times can this guy pit?’” Hossfeld said. “I don’t know what happened. But if he was able to run on another tire that’s a big plus for them, no matter when they did it and no matter how many laps they did it on. That’s a big advantage right there.”

Putnam and Manion have fielded the 7NY car in recent years for Sprint Cup Series star Ryan Newman on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Newman has four victories in 12 Whelen Modified Tour starts for the team since 2008 but one of those starts was also banished from the NASCAR records after the team was stripped of a victory following a July 2011 Whelen Modified Tour event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after it was found that components of Newman’s motor failed post trace tech inspection. Manion was also suspended from Whelen Modified Tour competition for the remainder of the 2011 season as part of that penalty.

Hossfeld said in the past the event has had what he described as “sort of an outlaw event feel” to rules enforcement and credited Fox with changing that.

“[Tom Fox] was an asset to the race,” Hossfeld said. “It was much more regulated, it was refreshing. I just want to follow the rules and go down and do the best I can and then go home and know that the winner was the winner.”

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Comments

  1. Cheryl Dougela-Perry says

    Should have known driving that car.

  2. Wow, tech?

  3. Shawn O'Neil says

    sounds a little fishy to me……

  4. Is mario a consultant on that car too…..lol

  5. Funny Hossfeld playing the " im innocent and i just want to get beat fair and square" just like speedweeks 2012.

  6. Funny Hossfeld playing the " im innocent and i just want to get beat fair and square" just like speedweeks 2012.

  7. Sounds stupid….

  8. Rich Goucher says

    Plenty of time before everyone goes home to ask questions and inspect racecars and tires. This smells pretty funny, a day after the race. Burden of proof is on the accuser, and if not proven then & there, amounts to bullshit!

  9. I don't think this matter was handled properly by North South Shootout Officials.
    Ryan and the team had already officially been awarded the win and left the track. Then came a new decision and big fine.
    imposed on the 7NY team well after leaving the speedway and well.
    after the race. This is most irregular and very unfair.
    Something is not right here.

  10. Shawn Courchesne says

    Folks, let's try and post comments that aren't laced fully with profanity. Don't want to sit here deleting everything. I'm sure whatever point you're trying to make can be made without using the swears. Thank you.

  11. all the officiating was very inconsistent all weekend

  12. The southern boys have nothing on the northern guys and they can't handle it.. sounds like b s to me.

  13. I don't understand from the article how the tires could then all scan proper in tech after the race.

  14. so was the tire on the car for 10 laps or 15? the story keeps changing…

  15. If anybody thought something was amiss with the tires, it needed to be dealt with IN TECH, not after, Once the car and tires left tech, it should be a done deal, track made a mistake on this one.

  16. I agree.

  17. Mathew Rzewnicki says

    Sounds like a bum deal to me. If they only used the 6 tires they were allotted to begin with, then where's the penalty come from? I guess it's just a continuation of NASCAR's rules that only apply to certain people.

  18. The officials were all from up North.

  19. Listen the track messed up on all levels of racing from quarter midget to cup if you pass tech by the dam rules you pack up your gear and they say you still passed you don't wait untill in my case 10 minutes befor trophy timewich was almost 8 hours later in the quarter midgets to tell my kid oh by the way you failed tech or in ryans case a day later oh you falled tech you go get the tire you show it was illegal and prove them wrong or in my childs case you do it befor you leave tech in the quarter midget the rule book stated once cleared from final tech your the winner you don't head hunt or do the he said she said bull shit it a dam win if not D, Q them in tech Write Mr Stanton lolololol.

  20. Listen the track messed up,, On all levels of racing from quarter midget to cup if you pass tech by the dam rules and you have pack up your car and all it gear and they say you still passed its a win no matter how you read it write it or look at it you don't wait untill in my case 10 minutes befor trophy time wich was almost 8 hours later in the quarter midgets to tell my kid oh by the way you failed tech or in ryans case a day later oh you falled tech you go get the tire you show it was illegal and prove them wrong or in my childs case you do it befor you leave tech in the quarter midget the rule book stated once cleared from final tech your the winner you don't head hunt or do the he said she said bull shit it is a dam win if not D, Q them in tech Write Mr Stanton lolololol.

  21. Here is how I understand this: Each team purchased six (6) tires. You started the race on four (4). The rule states you can only change two (2). Some teams changed thier two (2) tires, raced for a bunch of laps which wore/heated these tires…so they came back in to place one or two of the Original Tires Back onto the car. Scanning would show they never changed tires. But they actually changed tires. How the rule is stated …or how It Is Not Stated is the problem.

  22. True but does the rule state you can or cant use old tires you started with after they have come off the car what Mr Fox stated was the team used an unapproved third new tire during the event. My opinion and the opinion of my pit road officials is that he did go outside of his inventory, claiming they had a flat tire when the tire had 15 pounds of air in it,” Fox said. “We had a discussion about how everything went and that deal came up and we looked at it and recognized it as being a third tire change. this meaning a 3erd new tire is the way i read it so if the rule states once the tire is removed from the car it is no longer legal to use those tires period or can you run them for a number of laps come in change them let them cool run your other two till they are spent then put your origanl start tires back on this is were we need the rule clearafication . if the rule does not say anything about those options its pretty cut and dry its legal its in a grey area but its legal the bottom line is it the teams fight to win if they appeal i think its pretty cut and dry but i am just a begginner

  23. modified racing to expensive for the purses being paid strike in 2013.

  24. Jeez. You have to be a lawyer to drive a race car these days.

  25. I thought there was a rule in place that you could only have 6 tires in your pit stall. How did they hide a 7th tire? And how did a rule come up that a tire had to be 12 pounds to be flat? Is this hot or cold? 12 pounds in a right side? 15 pounds on a right side tire with heat in it is going flat.

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