Ryan Preece Settling In Happily With New XFINITY Series Surroundings

Ryan Preece (Photo: JD Motorsports)

Ryan Preece (Photo: JD Motorsports)

When the drivers of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour hit the track for the Icebreaker 150 April 10 at Thompson Speedway, it will mark the beginning of the racing season for most drivers on hand.

When Ryan Preece of Berlin arrives for the Whelen Modified Tour season opener he will already have a host of events under his belt from tracks around the country this year.

Preece is settling in to his first season competing full-time on the NASCAR XFINITY Series.

Preece, the 2013 Whelen Modified Tour champion, is running this season in the XFINITY Series for JD Motorsports and team owner Johnny Davis.

Preece started off the season on a low in the XFINITY Series opener at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 20, but has bounced back solidly.

The Daytona event saw a cut tire end Preece’s day at Daytona in the opening laps of the event.

Since then Preece has averaged a 20th place finish in the last three XFINITY Series events at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway.

“It’s a little different, I’m enjoying it a lot,” Preece said. “I’ve learned a lot so far, just about how those cars drive compared to a Modified. It’s a whole different thing to learn. Obviously we’re a smaller team compared to like a [Roush Fenway Racing] or an [Richard Childress Racing], but I feel like we’re doing really really well. Everything Johnny is giving us, he’s definitely giving us some good cars. We’re going to continue trying to make the best of everything. I feel like soon we can definitely be a top-15 team week in and week out.

“I feel like with time and if we can pull some more sponsors together to get us some leased motors, just the little things that you need when it comes to that level, it’s really an attention to detail thing. I feel like everybody is working really hard and I really like the team. Hopefully we can get some more money and more sponsorship over time and get some more tools that we need and develop us into one of those teams.”

Preece finished second in the Whelen Modified Tour standings in 2012, 2014 and 2015. He drove his first season for Ed Partridge’s TS Haulers Modified Tour team last year and expects to run nine events on the Whelen Modified Tour for Partridge this year.

Behind the wheel of a Modified, whether it was with Partridge’s team or driving an SK Modified at Stafford Motor Speedway or Thompson Speedway, Preece always knew when he arrived at the track he was a contender to win. Part of his learning curve this year has involved understanding that he’s competing and learning on the XFINITY Series not in contention to win just yet.

“It’s definitely a different mindset from what I’m used to where I show up, as a racer everybody is competitive and you want to go and you want to win races and when I show up to the racetrack the racer in me wants to feel like that but the other side of me knows we need to keep the doors on this thing and not do anything stupid and just gain experience,” Preece said. “That’s kind of what the mindset has been.”

Preece had run three XFINITY Series events before this season and made five starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series last year.

“I’ve grown to like the mile and half tracks,” Preece said. “It’s just a different style where you’re wide open for a long time. The first time last year in a [Sprint Cup] car when I went to [Texas Motor Speedway] it was a real eye opener. When you’re going 200 mph its pretty fast. It’s a different sensation. It’s kind of been one of those deals where you’re better off taking little steps and understanding what’s going on than trying to take a big step and wrecking a racecar.

“[Crew chief Zach McGowan] has done a really good job so far. The cars have all been really really well pretty much showing up to the racetrack and it’s all just been a really big learning curve for me.”

Preece finished second in the Whelen Modified Tour standings in 2012, 2014 and 2015. He drove his first season for Ed Partridge’s TS Haulers Modified Tour team last year and expects to run nine events on the Whelen Modified Tour for Partridge this year including the Icebreaker and the second Whelen Modified Tour event of the season, the NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway on April 24.

“My racing season is going to be just as busy as it ever has been,” Preece said.


  1. Thanks for the interview Shawn.It might go a long way in explaining reality to some of the people who comment on this site.It’s quite obvious to many folks but some people i just don’t understand.Sometimes when its heard from the horses mouth it might help.Again thank you for the info on all the stories you cover for us.

  2. Kelly Gordon says

    The maturity Ryan shows is astounding, cup series and Whelan series are 2 different animals. He’s gonna go far because he thinks and distinguishes between the two
    Best of luck to ya Ryan hope to see you soon up in Conn. Behind that beast🏁

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