Ryan Preece To Run Xfinity Series Event For Joe Gibbs Racing At Kentucky Speedway

Ryan Preece affixes the winner’s decal to his car after winning the XFINITY Series US Cellular 250 Saturday at Iowa Speedway (Photo: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour regular Ryan Preece announced during a broadcast on NASCAR America Thursday that he will compete in another Xfinity Series event this season for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Preece, who is coming off his first career Xfinity Series win in the US Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway Saturday, will compete in the VISITMYRTLEBEACH.COM 300 at Kentucky Speedway on Sept. 23.

In addition to winning at Iowa last week, Preece finished second to Monster Energy Cup Series star Kyle Busch in the Xfinity Series Overton’s 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 15, which marked his first career start for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Preece, the 2013 Whelen Modified Tour champion, also scored his first career Xfinity Series pole award at Iowa Speedway Saturday. He has two victories and five top-five finishes in six starts Whelen Modified Tour starts this year and sits sixth in the series standings going into Friday’s Stafford 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway. He won in the Whelen Modified Tour NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 at Stafford on April 30.

Running the Kentucky event will mean Preece will be forced to miss the Whelen Modified Tour event on Sept. 23 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, Mass. will replace Preece in his Ed Partridge owned Whelen Modified Tour ride.

Preece was making his 38th career Xfinity Series start Saturday at Iowa. He had support in putting the deal together with Joe Gibbs Racing 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.

The 26-year old 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. That is Awsome!!!! Should Have Been Noticed A Lot Sooner. Great Kid, Great Driver, Go “Preece Lighting”

  2. Another stand alone event for The Xfinity series with Cup in NH. The kid could win again.

    Good opportunity for McKennedy too.

  3. Great news! Congrats and best of luck to him!!

  4. Great news and I think NASCAR is in a bind with this now, its a story about how drivers used to get rides and what the sport was about; and I’m sure NASCAR is seeing some bump in ratings. The buy a ride is a big reason WHY we see empty seats everywhere!

  5. darealgoodfella says

    Dang!!!! So we’ll miss Preece at NHMS!!! Just kidding.

    Good luck Ryan.

  6. Good luck Ryan; we’ll miss you at nhms but this is an awesome opportunity to drive for Joe Gibbs!

  7. Outstanding news!!

  8. Sharpie Fan says


  9. Interesting perspective Chris regarding drivers buying a ride. Is Preece in a way part of the group?
    “He had support in putting the deal together with Joe Gibbs Racing from local companies Falmouth Ready Mix of East Falmouth, Mass., Mowhawk Northeast of Plantsville and Mizzy Construction of Plainville.’
    I wish you would expand on your point. Isn’t it just the cost of fielding a car these days?

  10. And furthermore is it not remarkable the Preece who everyone agrees has A to Z racing skills can round up the support of regional companies that are willing to finance the national series races.

  11. Xfinity series needs a driver like Ryan . TV ratings are at an all time low, along with cup series. New England fans need a reason to watch this series. A lot of good drives in past and present are northerners ,and don’t get this opportunity . Back in the days,half the field were from ct, NY mass, now it’s all young southern late model drivers filling the field. Love to see Ryan kick some butt, and maybe just maybe open the door for some good young talent from New England…….

  12. darealgoodfella says

    Hey Doug, who peed in your corn flakes?

  13. Fast Eddie says

    To compare it to the corporate world, he got “the second interview”! And who knows/ If it turns into something more for Ryan maybe NHMS is the “first interview” for McKennedy with the #6 team. Good luck to both!

  14. Xfinity needs a field of Preece types. Hard working guys who came up through the ranks.Like the old days. I think we all can agree watching a bunch of 18 yr old rich kids is just not interesting. Preece arrived with a regional following based off of on track success. That’s the formula that built Nascar into what is was. Then the sponsors took over and ruined it.

  15. darealgoodfella says

    NH Mark speaks goodness. And I hope sponsors are taking notice. It’s quite remarkable to see all the national attention Preece is getting. Preece isn’t a petulant, hot head, prima donna that NASCAR has been overrun with the last few years. He is certainly an asset to NASCAR.

  16. My point is that most of the New England drivers that most of us have watched and made it down south did so on talent rather than buying a ride. I am not saying Ryan bought a ride, he worked with his family and local sponsors to pay for the opportunity to audition, as far as I know he has no ride. So no slight to him. There is another New England kid running full time in the truck series, won the Daytona truck race and I have no idea who he is, did he run Thompson, Stafford, Seekonk? How does a kid who no one really knows land a full time truck ride??? I am sure that he is not pulling any TV ratings in; but I bet Ryans story I bet posted boosted ratings last week. I think one reason NASCAR is dying is that its core fans dont really know the drivers, and a driver like Ryan peeks interest.

  17. Dareal, such a potty mouth. When I read it I thought for sure urine a lot of trouble with Shawn. Apparently not.
    I count 33 Xfinity Series races. 18 in traditionally southern race venues. 3 in the Northeast at Pocono, Watkins Glen and New Hampshire. The rest out west from Ohio to California. I don’t know if that means anything other then bring talent and sponsorship or be a southern hotbed of racing favorite.

  18. I think this is great and I am thrilled that Ryan could show the rest of the country what we already knew; that he could drive. But to expand on what someone else said; he did buy his ride, I’m not knocking him for it, this is how racing is done these days and talent alone isn’t enough to move up the NASCAR ladder. But we have to be careful when we condemn some drivers for getting a ride “because they brought money” while we cheer for one of our guys who did the same thing. I hope Ryan goes as far as possible and I wish him nothing but success, hopefully it creates opportunities for the rest of our guys too.

  19. Kaz Grala who you’re referencing ran some races in Upstate NY before relocating to the Carolinas and racing down south. Logano pretty much did the same thing. I disagree that you think Preece has the money to get a seat where Grala/Logano etc. earn their ride. I think it’s the opposite and Grala/Logano come from
    so much money that their families can relocate so their kids can focus on a racing career. No offense to Logano/Grala and think they’re great drivers and glad they’re from New England originally, but their driving career is hardly rooted in New England.

  20. And the stands and TV ratings back up your theory that 18yr olds are not putting seats in the stands. I remember a time not long ago that Mark Martin was the only driver that ran a few Busch races, the rest was up and coming drivers. NASCAR needs to take the Trucks and Xfinity series and start running some of there smaller venues.

  21. darealgoodfella says

    Sponsorship is what pays the bills, buys equipment, pays the salaries.

    Plain and simple.

    Let it go.

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