Dream Weaver: Ryan Preece Wins Xfinity Series US Cellular 250 At Iowa Speedway

Ryan Preece celebrates his first career Xfinity Series victory Saturday at Iowa Speedway (Photo: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour regular Ryan Preece gambled on a dream in putting together a deal to run two Xfinity Series events for the powerhouse organization Joe Gibbs Racing.

Saturday that gamble paid off in the ultimate jackpot in Newton, Iowa for the Berlin driver.

Preece closed out a dominant run by holding off Kyle Benjamin on a green-white-checkered overtime restart to win the Xfinity Series US Celllular 250 Saturday at Iowa Speedway.

It was the first career Xfinity Series victory for the 26-year old Modified racing veteran, who competes regularly in the weekly SK Modified divisions at Thompson Speedway and Stafford Motor Speedway in addition to running with the Whelen Modified Tour.

“I don’t even know what to say,” Preece said. “I’ve got to thank everybody. …I’m so lost for words right now. I don’t even know what to say. This is what emotion is. I thought this race would never end, that’s for sure. But man, nothing’s going to beat today.”

It was the second event Preece has run this year for Joe Gibbs Racing. He finished second to NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series star Kyle Busch in the Overton’s 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 15.

Preece, the 2013 Whelen Modified Tour champion, started the day by winning the pole for the event, his first career pole with the series.

He led every lap of the first stage. He spent most of the second stage battling Justin Allgaier for the top spot, with Allgaier winning the second stage. Allgaier stayed out during a caution on lap 169 while Preece and the rest of the leaders pitted for tires. Preece went to the lead following the lap 178 restart and Allgaier faded. Allgaier was forced to pit under green for tires and finished 20th, two laps down.

Preece was making his 38th career Xfinity Series start Saturday. He had support in putting the deal from local companies Falmouth Ready Mix of East Falmouth, Mass., Mowhawk Northeast of Plantsville and Mizzy Construction of Plainville.

Preece ran full-time in the Xfinity Series last year for the underfunded Johnny Davis Motorsports team. He opted not to run a second season with the team and instead focused on finding selected rides with an upper level organization.

He qualified sixth at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 15, which marked his best qualifying effort in the series to that point. In his 33 events with the series in 2016 his best starting spot was 12th, which came in the division’s lone visit to NHMS. His best finish in 2016 was a 10th place at Darlington (S.C.) Speedway.

Preece has 17 career Whelen Modified Tour victories in 137 series starts dating back to 2007. He was the 2011 SK Modified champion at Stafford Speedway and won SK Modified championships at Thompson Speedway in 2012 and 2014.


  1. Preece Fan says

    Congrats Ryan!! You kicked butt these last two races and proved you deserve to be competing at the sport’s highest level.

  2. Re: the deal Preece put together. Jeff Gluck made a similar comment on Twitter. Did Preece ‘rent’ the ride? Bring sponsorship? How did Preece get 2 races in the #20?

    He’s done a great job in his 2 outings. Hope it leads to something good for him.

  3. Holy s^%t!! Awesome job great race

  4. Rich Gourley says

    What a great race between two young guys (Preece & Benjamin) looking for a breakthrough win. Congrats to Preece on his first Xfinity series race win.

    Hopefully this will open a door to a quality full time ride in the Xfinity series for Ryan.

  5. Mike86,
    He put together support from local companies to help sponsor the effort.

  6. Holy crap batman, congrats Ryan, great job and today you proved you deserve a shot at running a full season with a top shelf organization!

  7. Ryan is the real deal said it before and I’ll say it again. Let’s see what happens now. Maybe the next Joey Logano . We are all waiting to see. Go get em Ryan …….

  8. Pretty impressive huh? Great job driving by Ryan and bravo to his northeast sponsors getting him there financially… in this kind of deal, it takes more than a village..

  9. While you all are drooling your acclaim for a great effort I’m going to go out on the thinnest limb with some wild eyed speculation. I think Mike Joy put the bug in Joe Gibbs Racing about Preece.
    3 or 4 years ago Mike Joy showed up to call an SK race at Stafford and they had Preece hooked up with an in car mic. It was a special night. Preece has always been on Joy’s radar and I say he showed the good judgement to share his favorable opinion with whomever in the Monster Series would listen.

  10. Wow! The 2 race plan really worked out great! Very cool…

    Congratulations, Ryan, I hope this opens lots of doors. If this doesn’t get proper attention, maybe the only thing left is to hire sky writers over the tracks.

  11. Great run in the top car of the series……Ryan did a fantastic job keeping it up front…..congratulations to him for the win.
    Hopefully he has someone who has very deep pockets, millions to acquire a first rate ride…..if not what Kyle Petty said during race…..after this Ryan is going home…..age is a factor….top teams want young talent…..26 on the top end unless big deep pockets with unlimited funds.

  12. I’m hoping for the best that he can be full time next year along with Travis Bemjamin. But it will probably be more kyle Busch who has single handedly destroyed the xfinity series.

  13. I do think Ryan’s age works against him. At 26, that’s nuts. Cup drivers hit their peak ability in their late 30s.
    I’m not a fan of this push to get younger and younger drivers into the top tiers.

  14. Comparing Preece to Logano is a huge insult. Logano made it with unlimited $$$, Preece is working with a low budget and actual driving ability / car setup knowledge. Congrats Ryan!

  15. Congrats Ryan!

    Heck of a show on Saturday!!

  16. Jason how long have you been in a coma???????

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