Ringer: Ryan Preece Rolls To Whelen Mod Tour Thompson 125 Win At Thompson Speedway

Ryan Preece celebrates victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Thompson 125 Wednesday at Thompson Speedway

THOMPSON – When the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour hit the track on May 13 at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va. Ryan Preece was nowhere to be seen in the lineup.

Instead, Preece – the 2013 Whelen Modified Tour champion – was back in home Connecticut getting married.

Wednesday, Preece wasn’t just styling with his new wedding ring, but he also made his return to series competition one with flair.

Preece, of Berlin, drove away from the field late to win the Whelen Modified Tour Thomson 125 Wednesday at Thompson Speedway.

“It was tough for [car owner Eddie Partridge],” Preece said of missing an event. “I know he wants to win that championship. He could have fired me on the spot knowing at the beginning of the season that I was missing a race. … I’m very lucky have him and his wife [Connie] believing in me to set up that racecar to make sure nothing really falls apart on it and to drive it. It’s definitely special. I have a great bond with everybody on that team.”

Rowan Pennink of Huntingdon Valley, Pa. was second and Bobby Santos III of Franklin, Mass. third.

“We had something break in practice, so we only got about two laps,” Preece said. “But I guess it worked out so we couldn’t mess with the car.”

It was the second victory in four series starts this year for Preece. He also won the NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 at Stafford Motor Speedway on April 30. It was his 17th series victory overall and second at Thompson.

Preece raced full-time with the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2016 and raced part-time for team owner Eddie Partridge. He made the decision in the offseason to return to the Whelen Modified Tour full-time and Partridge welcomed him back.

“I’ve got to really thank that guy right there with the Hoosier hat on, Eddie Partridge,” Preece said. “Eddie and Connie do so much for me. I’ll never forget that phone call I got from him to come drive for him. Last year when I was talking to him about coming back north, I said ‘I needed a job’ and he gave me one. It takes a lot for someone to put you in a race car, but it takes even more for them to let you work on it. I’m really thankful for that.”

Preece took over the top spot for the first time on lap 20 when then leader Donny Lia was black flagged for jumping a restart.

Chase Dowling got by Preece for the lead on lap 61. Preece remained in second until a lap 77 caution send the leaders to pit road on lap 80.

Pennink, who had pitted on lap 50, assumed the race lead. Preece restarted the race in fourth and quickly made his way back to the front. On lap 105 Preece got under Santos for second. On lap 107 Preece found the lane under Pennink, with the pair going side-by-side to the start/finish line to complete the lap. On lap 108 Preece was able to clear Pennink off of turn two and never trailed again.

“We played a little bit different pit strategy,” Pennink said. “We pitted a little bit earlier which got us to the front for track position. But [Preece] had a really good car. I don’t think we would have beat him even if we played the same pit strategy. We just needed to get the car a little bit better and we would have had a shot. They did a good job.”


  1. Great job ryan

  2. wmass01013 says

    Race was Average
    crowd Average
    group qualifying kinda bad when no clock to see how much time left or speeds as they make laps, PITKAT GOES OUT on new tires and yellow comes during his lap, sucks
    late model race was best of night
    7Ny WAS SCREWED on penalty, hes the freakin leader sometimes I think NASCAR OFFICIALS think they are the show in all series
    44$ too much for 4-5 HOUR show , wake up hoenigs
    15 was fast TOO BAD FOR bad stop

  3. darealgoodfella says

    This was a great night to be at a race, and the race was pretty good. Weather was perfect, great New England evening and night. Crowd was pretty good.

    Race was pretty good. As usual, 2-3 cars out in front most of the night, but right behind was a pack of cars doing battle. NASCAR seems to be doing better with equalizing those flux capacitors, and confiscating those that are more equal than others.

    Chase Dowling, Matt Swanson and Matt Zachem are the future of Modified racing, these guys are good.

    Sad to see what is happening to Lia and Szegedy. Szegedy and Fifield have both run 5 races, Szegedy has 110 points, Fifield has 106 pts. Ouch! Lia is collecting only 22 pts per race, half the pace of the leaders. Ouch!

    Preece did a great job. I’ve never been a Preece fan, but he did some great driving last night. If he really is wrenching this car, he’s going to be tough to beat. He’s going to have a better understanding and appreciation for the car, how to drive it, set it up, and make adjustments. Even though he missed a race, he sits in 10th place, right behind Colby.

    Good run by the 3.

    Where was Bonsignore?

    Amazing what some TV coverage can do to get folks to put away the stupid. I guess the video evidence is hard to deny.

  4. Bonsignore got fresh tires at the halfway point and went nowhere. They must have missed the setup last night. I agree the 7 got screwed but the second it happened I knew they were gonna get him. He was a car length ahead of 6 at the line. It cost him big time. Car was a crumpled mess by nights end.

    Nice to see DaReal come round on the youth movement. Lots of young talent in the field last night. Good racing. Being a shorter race, some teams simply picked the wrong strategy.

    I don’t mind group qualifying on a weeknight. The Tour race was over at 9:35 and that included a long red flag. I was surprised how many folks stayed for SK feature. They always get a bigger crowd for the AUG race so no surprise that it was a smaller crowd. A lot of kids still in school.

    I wish Seekonk would start their open show at 6pm instead of 7pm like Thompson last night. That hour makes a big difference. Obviously it can be done. Coby has filed an entry for that one now too.

    The 3 is a title contender for sure. That’s a good thing for modified racing.

  5. darealgoodfella says

    When are they going to realize that a PA system is useless? Can’t hear what they say when the cars are running.

    Need a tote board of some sort for live status of qualifying, race order, etc. Perhaps a couple so it can be seen from various angles/places in the stands.

    As long as the 3 doesn’t blow up engines, they will be fine. They blew up numerous engines last season.

  6. darealgoodfella says

    And let’s not forget a good run by the 44. Looked very good.

  7. darealgoodfella says

    Santos has run two races, collected 82 pts, and has two top 5s.

    Very good.

  8. Did anyone see what happened to the 11 of Andy Seuss on the back stretch on lap 1?

  9. Ask dareal about the 11, he knows everything.

  10. Folks are calling it an average crowd… I dunno, I honestly thought it was a pretty good turnout. It was definitely light around 5:00… but filled in nicely. Especially for a school night.
    And it was great to see so many folks stick around for the SK feature. Well, at least until they started wadding them up, which sent plenty of people to the exits.

    Good car counts in all the divisions, though the Mini Stocks were a little light. The NEMA Lights, too, I suppose. I dunno… I don’t get too excited by midgets at Thompson. I think they’re more exciting on a shorter track (e.g., Star). At least it was the Lights, and we didn’t have to wait for every car to be @!#$! push started. (Sorry, pet peeve of mine. And Dareal hit on another one re: that useless PA system at Thompson.)

    Nice group of SKs. Fun to see Steve Masse in the field.

    Great Late Model race.

    As for the Mod Tour race… Man, those guys were using up each other to pass in the turns. And God forbid you got trapped down low, because you were going backwards like you had lost the draft at Daytona.

    Really nice to see Pennink and the Boehler crew have a good run. I think that’s a smart driver/team combo.
    They pitted earlier than most — and, seemingly, before they really wanted to — but it paid off for them. Always happy to see Rowan run well.
    Wish his Thompson SK ride had a little more juice, though.

    Kudos, too, to Matt Swanson. Good run in the mod. But, also, I watched the kid drive a Super Late Model to a top 10 finish at Oxford Plains last Sunday. That is NOT an easy track to learn.

    Best example of foreshadowing, Mod Tour edition: Matt Dowling in the 15 being told, “Don’t wreck my racecar,” mere laps before, yes, he ended up with a wrecked racecar.

    Kind of a random thought, but I was struck last night by how GOOD nearly the entire field of Modifieds looked. The owners are really taking pride in the appearance of their cars.

  11. Fast Eddie says

    Dareal, I’m right with you. Bobby Santos and the Tinio crew are looking pretty darned good for a part time team! I think they may be one of the spoilers later in the year. They’ll get at least one win this year for sure! Hopefully more of the WMT races don’t conflict with the USAC schedule.
    Nice to see Pennick and the Boehlers have another really good run; I’m betting they’ll get another win soon! Lately there always seems to be one team that has a Thompson setup locked in. First and second out of two races is pretty darned close!

  12. darealgoodfella says

    Only 11 comments? Must have been a good event, nothing to complain about.

  13. Dareal, you are the one that usually leads the crowd in the negativity! Now there is a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black…….

  14. Liz Cherokee says

    I’m surprised that no one mentioned it, so I have to… Three cheers for a top 20 for Melissa! I was so excited!

  15. Fast Eddie says

    The #01 hung on until lap 11 before going a lap down.

  16. darealgoodfella says

    Oh Liz, I think there must be an error. The 01 finished ONLY 5 laps down, which I do believe would be her best finish ever, by far. It would also be one of her rare finishes, since she usually parks it with various mechanical difficulties.

  17. wmass01013 says

    the 2 didn’t win the all the whining and complaining doesn’t happen

  18. darealgoodfella says

    And the fireworks was a nice touch.

  19. Fast Eddie says

    I’d rather see them lose the fireworks and take $5.00 off the ticket price; they might get a few more fans in the seats as well.

  20. Paid $50 bucks for a pit pass at 3 P.M. Left at 10:30 when the red came out.Had a blast all day.How is this not a tremendous entertainment value for the money.It seemed to be a good crowd for a weeknight.Went to Yankee Stadium on Sunday with my Son and Grandson.You don’t even want to think about what we spent.Back to complaining,Group qualifying sucks.And yes Liz seems like a big improvement for Mellisa.5 laps down at the end and still running.Not really competitive yet but at long last some measurable progress.We shall see how the season unfolds for them.I hope it is something they can build on.I can’t say Preece is on rails because he wouldn’t stay on them if he was.The guy continues to amaze me.Looks like the deuce is a day late and a jiggawatt short.Lets see what Moran has up his sleeve going forward.Short ride to Riverhead next week for me.

  21. Dareal, how are those stands at Waterford coming along? Surely you must know something by now. I’m just a little concerned because you haven’t asked about them in a few days. Oh who cares anyway, they’re probably just gonna run one show with limited food selection. BYOF

  22. wmass01013 says

    Art I don’t like the comparison to PROFESSIONAL sports with WMT if the teams were making 4- 5 million dollars each or more then we can compare to a yankee game, I LOVE THE WMT, any mod race really, and I love THOMPSON SPEEDWAY but 44$ or 50$ way overpriced in my book, I do like the balance that the 2, 3 6, 7ny, 15, 16, 20 , 51, 58 can all be fast and win

  23. darealgoodfella says

    “… deuce is a day late and jiggawatt short.” lol, priceless. Thanks for that.

    Riverhead is next, close confines, rough and tumble. The Long Island Boys will show how its done.

    Solomito, the Goodales and Preece fill the top 5.

  24. Don’t count out the 51, 20 and the 3, should be a great race!

  25. Mark Fisher says

    Don’t count out the 82 the Danny’s Cesspool entry that Ron Silk vacated ,started 20th finish seventh and passed more cars than anyone on the track and receive the Gatorade award Wednesday night at Thompson

  26. Wmass,You are right.It was a stupid comparison. I still think short track racing gives a great bang for your buck compared to almost anything else, especially when you bring the kids.

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