Celebrity Spotting: Ryan Preece Jumps At Chance To Meet Barstool Sports Founder At Daytona 500

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy (left) with Ryan Preece Sunday prior to the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway (Photo: Courtesy of Ryan Preece)

On Sunday at Daytona International Speedway, Ryan Preece was on the big stage as one of the Monster Energy Cup Series drivers fans were showing up to watch put on the biggest show of the season for NASCAR 

But while Preece was part of the show, the Berlin native also spent some time of his own doing some celebrity chasing. 

NASCAR invited representatives from the wildly popular Barstool Sports media giant to Sunday’s Daytona 500. 

When it comes to Barstool Sports, those that are part of its rabid fanbase are called ‘Stoolies” and it just so happens that Preece is one of them. 

So when the chance was there Sunday before the race for Preece to meet Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy – the man known to Stoolies as El Presidente – he jumped at the chance. 

“I’m huge with Barstool [Sports],” Preece on this week’s edition of the Unmuffled podcast. “I love all the stuff he does. I love listening to his channel on Sirius/XM. So when I saw him I’m like, ‘I’m going up to him.’ It was one of those moments where it’s like ‘Why wouldn’t you?’ I love everything about that deal.” 

Preece got his picture taken with Portnoy and had a brief exchange with the Milton, Mass. native, who started Barstool Sports as a print publication in Boston in 2003 and has grown the company into a sports and pop culture media giant. 

“What was even better was when I went to up to him I was like ‘Hey, can I get a picture with you.’” Preece said. “And he’s like ‘Yeah man, come here.’ And then I told him ‘I’m racing in today’s race, it’s cool that you’re here.’ And he was like ‘Cool, what number are you?’ I’m like ‘Forty-seven, Ryan Preece.’ And he goes ‘No way, I was talking on NESN.’ So he kind of new of me because of the New England connection. So that was really cool.” 

To hear more from Preece about his experiences on and off the track Sunday at Daytona, and plenty more from the former Whelen Modified Tour champion, listen to this week’s edition of Unmuffled.

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  1. I’m sorry to read this. Mr. Portnoy is an evil person and not particularly nice person to be associated with. Just my opinion of course. The man goes out of his way to stir up “stuff” because he can. He has verbally attacked many in the sports world/media. Choose your friends carefully Mr. Preece.

  2. Never heard of Bar Stool or Portnoy. That’s probably a very good thing given my age.
    It’s young and hip and edgy. Called “sports’smut” by Portnoy himself. Actor Michael Rappaport fired from Bar Stool for tweeting “If you call yourself a f–king stoolie for real, you’ve already lost in life,”. Then subsequently suing Bar Stool for firing him, saying he had herpes and selling a T-shirt of him in caricature with a herpes sore.
    Fact is they are a steady stream of controversial and at times raunchy bits that are completely consistent with their “sports/smut” niche. It’s their brand.
    So why bring any of it up? It’s just interesting that NASCAR invited them and that Preece is a stoolie as well. Not judging just find it a bit out of character for NASCAR with the family values theme and Preece as well with the Kroger sponsorship promotion.
    On the other hand it is edgy and youth focused and I was whining about the steady stream of pre packaged, scripted tripe NASCAR rolls over the audience all the time so this is good right? Maybe even give them a 15 minute pre race segment on broadcast TV. With the 6 second delay of course and censorship button handy.

    Preece did a 4 plus minute video the night of his race I happened to see on the Troyer Facebook page. Quiet time in his car reflecting on what the day meant to him. Spontaneous and unscripted. Check it out.

  3. There is a reason why the NFL won’t approve media credentials for him or Barstool. He has an on going battle with Samantha Ponder at ESPN. Called her some vicious names. Nascar has no soul so they will take his money but mark my words, he will be be the story in a short amount of time. He wants to be the story. Egomaniac son of a ….

    Plenty of news on him on the googles. Do your own research and make your own opinion as always.

  4. Barstool and Dave Portnoy could save NASCAR. Be thankful he’s showing interest in the dying sport.

  5. It’s not like the guy invented anything new.
    Howard Stern has made a career out of gross and controversial and is a media icon. Don Imus to a lesser extent but the same idea. Opie and Anthony as well and the list goes on.
    Then there is all of AM talk radio and cable news that could be considered political porn.
    You can judge harshly if you like. The simple fact is American has always liked edgy, low brow, opinionated, whacky, in your face media personalities. If NASCAR climbs on board what really can they lose at this stage.
    That whole NASCAR family values thing was always mostly smoke anyway wasn’t it?

  6. I’m going to fall in line with JD on this one after witnessing what just happened.
    Reacting to the news of Robert Kraft being involved in a Florida sting operation Portnoy went on a video water cooler rant marginalizing a “rub and tug” at a sleezy strip mall message parlor that according to him “70 to 80% of men have engaged in at one time or another. Then creating, out of the blue a conspiracy that this was all contrived by the commissioner of the NFL out to get the owner of the Patriots. From the water cooler he put on a nice suit and appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News to repeat the entire rant and conspiracy in full detail as Carlson asked questions, listened and pondered the seriousness of Portnoy’s claims. Like it actually could have been true.
    As a huge fan of the Patriots going back to the 1980’s this episode with Kraft is very painful to see. Some of the circumstances swirling around it are explosive for sure.
    What is called for now is patience and avoiding drawing conclusions to let all the facts play out.
    Portnoy has done the opposite of that and completely fabricated a scenario almost immediately without any facts and has streamed it to the world. It’s really sad he has a large audience including Ryan Preece that thinks this use of a series of unfortunate news events is entertainment.
    It’s not sports and it’s not funny. David Portnoy is a scum bag opportunist that in this case fabricated his own reality to exploit media attention and Fox News prime time bit like a big old hungry bass.
    In twenty years or so Ryan Preece may be thought of as one of the greatest drivers to come out of modifieds and make a name on the national scene. David Portnoy is a bottom feeder that history likely will view with contempt.
    I hope Mr. Preece will reconsider developing his acquaintanceship with David Portnoy.

  7. Doug,
    I’ll say this, I guess in defense of anyone that calls themselves a fan. Because you’re a fan of a comedian doesn’t mean you believe everything they say or believe in their satire. Portnoy is not a journalist, he’s a comedian and satirist. He says hundreds of things that intelligent people understand are not true. It’s comedy. His long simmering feud against Roger Goodell is often part of his schtick and that’s what’s taking place here. I respect the business Portnoy has created from nothing, but I don’t for one second think it’s anything close to ethical journalism. It’s a media company using satire of sports and pop culture to create attention.

  8. Thank you Shawn for weighing in.
    We’ll agree to disagree. Perhaps this is more of a generational divide with my line of thought out of date.
    What I will say in support of my harsh judgement is that when the bit that you say is satire transitions almost word for word from a video to prime time on Fox News there is clearly an effort to conflate it with news.
    With all due respect Shawn that is not funny, a satire or a bit. It’s a straight defense presented in a serious manner on a serious new channel based mostly on a conspiracy theory.
    More injurious in this old mans eyes is the perpetuation of this vague line between reality and fakery that is undermining our faith in news reporting when we don’t know what’s real and what isn’t.
    If he’d left it as a video I might see your point. He didn’t. Or if he went over the top on Fox News with some antics and chuckling that would be different. He didn’t.
    Each to his own I guess.
    Thanks again.

  9. Doug,
    I get your stance, but just because Fox News allows someone to come on and be a comedian and spew satire (again, he’s being a comedian), it doesn’t make it real. Portnoy is a regular on Fox News and regularly spews his ridiculous satire. Ultimately, the message sent is that Fox News doesn’t really care that they’re broadcasting satire as “news”. Remember this is the same Fox News that not long ago had another Barstool Sports employee on to serve as an “expert” on vaping. Anyone watching and thinking that person was an “expert” of any topic fitting for a serious “news” segment is about as gullible as the ocean is deep. So consider that if you’re going to put Portnoy’s appearance on Fox News up to stand as his schtick not being satire. And ultimately, getting back to your original argument, I don’t think it’s fair to judge people on what they see as satirical entertainment. When I was young I enjoyed listening to Eddie Murphy. It was crass and vulgar and exaggerating of a lot of things. I don’t think it shaped my as a person and I don’t think anyone should have had the right to judge me because it was something I found entertaining. That’s what I’m getting at it here. Whether you like Portnoy or Barstool, that’s up to you. But I think judging people negatively because its a form of entertainment they enjoy is wrong.

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