Ryan Preece Looking To Put Stranglehold On First Whelen Modified Tour Championship At NHMS

LOUDON, N.H. – In early August during a weekly racing event at Thompson International Speedway, Ryan Preece talked about his desires to capture a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship.

Ryan Preece (Photo: Alex Trautwig/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Ryan Preece (Photo: Alex Trautwig/Getty Images for NASCAR)

“Man, it would be pretty cool to be able to have a championship like that clinched before the last race,” Preece said.

Pretty cool looks more and more like it could be reality for the Berlin driver in 2013. And Saturday’s Whelen Modified Tour F.W. Webb 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway will go a long way in deciding if it could happen.

Preece goes into Saturday’s event in Loudon holding a 39-point lead over reigning series champion Doug Coby. After Saturday’s event the series runs the Fall Final at Stafford Motor Speedway on Sept. 29 followed by the season finale at Thompson International Speedway on Oct. 20.

“So far, every time I’ve won a championship I’ve been able to clinch it before the last race, which makes things easier,” Preece said. “You can go to Thompson and you have all those thoughts of hearing things with the motor and the car, and you don’t have to worry about those things. It makes life easier, less stressful. As much as people want to say having this much of a lead isn’t stressful, it can be.”

Preece can clinch his first series title if he can finish the day at Stafford on Sept. 29 with more than a 47-point lead. The most points a driver can earn in an event is 48. Preece currently would win on a tiebreaker based on his four victories this year compared to Coby’s two.

Preece, coming off his series leading fourth victory of the year last Saturday at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway, has some lofty expectations to close out the season.

“My goal is to win the last four races,” Preece said. “Is it feasible? Yeah. Is it realistic? I think so, but other people might not think so. But we have great car at these last three races, and we won at Riverhead. I want to win the next three to prove that I have a championship team and when people look at the history books I want them to say ‘Wow, he dominated that year, he deserved to win it.’”

Preece is looking for his first career win at New Hampshire. Coby is looking for his third consecutive win on the 1.058-mile oval. He won the Sept. event at the track last year and this year’s July race in Loudon.

“The reality is, if I win the next three races and Ryan finishes like eighth or better in those three I think he still wins the championship,” Coby said. “It’s one of those things. He’s going to have to have trouble. He’s either going to or not. So we’re just here to win again and whatever happens happens. If we win and he finishes second we’re not going to gain too much on him. It is what it is. But I’d rather be in a position with three races to go that you can hope a guy has bad luck than knowing that all we’re here to do is try to win a race. Having 26 cars here does not help me. I’d like there to be 40 cars so that if did have trouble he would get a worse finish than 26th or 25th.”

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