Bullring Bully: Ryan Preece Looks To Start New Whelen Modified Tour Streak At Monadnock Speedway

When it comes to close quarters, in your face bullring racing, there’s no denying Ryan Preece is a fan.

Ryan Preece celebrates his 2012 Whelen Modified Tour victory at Monadnock Speedway (Photo: Fran Lawlor/NASCAR)

One must only take a quick look through his career Whelen Modified Tour stats on the quarter-mile tracks the division visits to understand why events like Saturday’s Town Fair Tire Whitcomb 200 at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H. put a smile on the face of the Berlin driver.

After having a three-race winning streak snapped with a third place finish July 13 in the Town Fair Tire 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Preece heads back to the Granite State looking to start another winning roll.

And based on past history, it’s hardly a longshot to put Preece in the favorite’s role on Saturday.

Last year Preece led all 175 laps of the event when the Whelen Modified Tour went to the Monadnock quarter-mile.

And in seven career starts on the very similar Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway quarter-mile, Preece has a gaudy career average finish of 3.4 over seven Tour starts. Take away a 10th place finish in his first career Whelen Modified Tour start at Riverhead and those numbers only grow even more impressive. In his last six starts at Riverhead on the Modified Tour Preece has three wins, a second, a fourth and a fifth. He won in the Modified Tour’s first of two visits this year to Riverhead on June 29.

“I don’t know if it’s the type of racing it is or what, but usually on a quarter-mile you have be pretty much on the edge the whole time,” Preece said. “If you’re starting in the back you have to be able to move forward quick. You can’t just have a car that’s going to ride in place. A quarter-mile probably suits me the best because you can’t be tight. I hate racing a tight race car, I’d rather be loose. So, it seems to suit me a little more where it seems the bigger the track gets, the more right on you have to be, you can’t be as free as sometimes I’d like. Apparently they’re just good to me and hopefully tomorrow it’s good to me like it was last year.”

The only blemish on the quarter-mile resume for Preece is a 23rd place finish at Monadnock in 2010, when his car had a broken axel before the race even took the green flag.

After six of 14 Whelen Modified Tour events this year, Preece holds a 44-point lead over second place Rowan Pennink in the series standings. Reigning series champion Doug Coby is third in the standings, 47 behind Preece.

In addition to his win at Riverhead, Preece also has victories this year at Stafford Motor Speedway (June 14) and the Waterford Speedbowl (June 22). He had a third place in the season opener at Thompson International Speedway on April 14. His fourth place in the Spring Sizzler at Stafford on April 28 represents his worst finish of the season.

That 44-point cushion is an insurance policy Preece is glad he and his Flamingo Motorsports team have at this point in the year as he tries to hunt down his first career Whelen Modified Tour championship.

“You never know when you’re going to have bad luck,” Preece said. “Like [Coby] last year, when he had a huge lead on all of us and then he had three races where bad luck struck him and that cushion really helped them when they had those bad days. Right now it’s a nice cushion to have in case something bad happens.”

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