Ryan Preece Adds Four More Races To XFINITY Series Schedule for 2018 With Joe Gibbs Racing

Ryan Preece on pit road with his Joe Gibbs Racing crew Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

Every time Ryan Preece hits the track for an appearance on the XFINITY Series with Joe Gibbs Racing is an opportunity to prove to a team or potential sponsor that he deserves a full-time ride in a national series.

And those opportunities are growing for the Berlin native and former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion.

Joe Gibbs Racing announced Thursday that Preece will add four more events to his schedule with the team for 2018. It brings the total appearances expected this year with the organization on the XFINITY Series to 15 for Preece.

With the help of sponsorship from Craftsman, Preece will add events at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International (Aug. 4), Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (Sept. 21), Dover (Del.) International Speedway (Oct. 6) and Kansas Speedway (Oct. 20).

“I’m really excited about having these races because a lot of us know that Craftsman is an iconic brand,” Preece said. “I grew up watching them as the sponsor of the [NASCAR] Truck Series. To be a part of that is pretty special to me. I’m looking forward to having four more shots to win races.”

The addition of Watkins Glen gives Preece the chance to run a road course.

“I don’t run a lot of road courses but I like them,” Preece said. “I’m looking forward to the chance show that I’m more diverse and I can win on something other than an oval.”

Preece is coming off a third place finish in Saturday’s XFINITY Series Lakes Regions 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. That event was an addition to the original 10-race schedule with Preece that Joe Gibbs Racing announced before the start of the 2018 season.

The 27-year old Preece ran full-time on the XFINITY Series in 2016 for the underfunded JD Motorsports team before making four starts for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017.

He made his first career start for Joe Gibbs Racing in the XFINITY Series at the 2017 Lakes Region 200 at NHMS and finished second to Monster Energy Cup Series star Kyle Busch. In his next event with the team two weeks later Preece got his first career XFINITY Series victory at Iowa Speedway. He ended up making two more starts for the team in 2017, recording finishes of fourth and fifth.

He got his second career XFINITY Series victory for Joe Gibbs Racing on April 14 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

In nine starts for Joe Gibbs Racing with the series over the past two seasons Preece has seven top-five finishes and eight top-10’s.

Preece has started seven of eight Whelen Modified Tour events this year and sits seventh in the standings with two wins and five top-five’s.

He will now miss three remaining Whelen Modified Tour events (Stafford Motor Speedway, Aug. 3; Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Aug. 16 and Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway, Sept. 8).

“Pretty much the championship run is out the window at this point,” Preece said of the Whelen Modified Tour.

Preece also races full-time in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series SK Modified division at Thompson Speedway.

Craftsman will also sponsor Erik Jones in the Joe Gibbs Racing Monster Energy Cup Series stable for four events in 2018.

To kick off the new partnership, CRAFTSMAN will launch the “What’s Your Craftsman Story?” campaign to share real, human moments of pride. “Your CRAFTSMAN story” could be a memory or a project well done. The goal is not to focus on the tool, but what can be done with the tools and the pride and memories it evokes in each person. Fans can share their story at www.CRAFTSMANstory.com beginning August 1 through September 7, 2018. Three deserving fans will win a garage full of CRAFTSMAN tools and one lucky fan will win a once-in-a-lifetime experience with Coach Joe Gibbs and Joe Gibbs Racing, including a shop tour and a VIP experience at the NASCAR races at Kansas Speedway on October 20 and 21, 2018.

“It’s a thrill for us to be a part of bringing the Craftsman brand back into the sport,” Gibbs said  in a release. “When you mention Cratsman to somebody it always seems they have a story to tell about how they used Craftsman tools growing up or around their own home or shop. That’s why the “What’s Your Craftsman Story?” campaign will be so much fun when we get a chance to hear everyone’s personal experiences with the brand.”

Said Preece: “As I grew older, I started using Craftsman tools. To represent an iconic tool company like Craftsman is very special to me and I know we will have the same reliability in our Camry’s that they have in their tools.”

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  1. Go get em, Ryan !!!

  2. Awesome !!!!!

  3. Great news.Keep living the dream Ryan!

  4. He was the show at xfinity NH. I thought I heard his team got dq’d for post race ride height. It is great to see a local do well on a national level. Hopefully his success gets him a full time ride next year.

  5. cg – Just checked NASCAR results, still shows him as third.

    Good things happen for a reason, and now Ryan has 4 more shots at victory. Don’t think he has any more to prove , as he’s done a great job so far with a better finishing average than most Xfinity regulars. Ok Joe now it’s time to step up and give him a shot at Monster Cup. Call your buddy Barney and tell him to get the 77 ready

  7. TOTALLY AWESOME!!! Just goes to show how hard work and persistence pays off. Would be even better to see Ryan sign a contract with a top team for the full 2019 season. He is a better driver than about 87% of the Xfinity regulars, and I’d go so far to say better than about 70% of the cup regulars including 75% of Gibbs current cup drivers ( my opinion). The only downfall of course is the NWMT would lose one of it’s greater talents. GO GET THEM RYAN!!!

  8. Stay the course..

  9. richC- You are correct. I thought they said something during the Cup Race but I guess I am incorrect. With a local driver to follow, I am actually watching xfinity races more frequently. I really hope he gets hooked up with a full time ride for next year, even though he will be missed at the local tracks. Anyone know if Preece plans on running anymore SK events at Stafford? Also, any information on Rowan Pennink going to return to the SK’s?

  10. Unless he has a lear jet
    How can he be in virginia and indiana
    And ct?????CG please think b4 commenting !!!

  11. JI am just wondering if Preece has any plans to run an SK at Stafford on any off weeks as he is a welcome addition to the field. I honestly did not look at his xfinity schedule to see if it conflicts with every Stafford show. Also in the Xfinity NH race, Preece was found in violation of post race ride height but the finish wasn’t taken away via penalty. Personally, I think of that as more of a crew chief issue than driver. Not sure what if any penalty was assessed against driver or team.

    Anyone have some insider information as to whether Pennink will participate in the SK’s at Stafford for next weeks Tour race? If known, it might convince a few people on the fence to go to ‘the show’.

  12. Joe Lajoie says

    From what I heard, the last time Preece ran his Stafford SK (when he finished 2nd to Mike Christopher Jr), tech gave him flack about the way his mufflers were mounted, and they made a rules change during the week what Preece had done. So Preece said the heck with it and Kopcik ran the car the next time out. It’s too bad because the fans are the losers in situations like that. It was cool to see Preece come back every now and then and mix it up wit the regulars.

  13. Heard a similar story Joe. Only the version i heard involved a different part, which was legal by the rules, but disliked by T.F. the tracks competition director. On top of that the Arute kids were running their mouths to anyone who would listen saying how much the track had done for Preeces career only to be repaid this way. ( Must have been one hell of an argument in tech) Preece was told not to come back with what is a LEGAL car therefore i doubt we’ll see him in a Stafford SK anytime soon.

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