Super Run: Third Place At Talladega Gives Ryan Preece First Monster Energy Cup Podium Finish

Ryan Preece following Sunday’s Monster Energy Cup Series Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway (Photo: Fox Sports Broadcast)

Visits to super speedways have proved to be super days this year for NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series rookie Ryan Preece. 

The former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion and regular at Stafford Speedway, Thompson Speedway and Riverhead Raceway, scored an eighth place finish in his first Monster Energy Cup Series super speedway start to kick off his career with JTG Daugherty Motorsports in February at the Daytona 500. 

Sunday, in his second super speedway visit of the season and first Monster Energy Cup Series start at Talladega Superspeedway, Preece scored his first series podium finish. 

Preece, of Berlin, took the checkered in third place in the Geico 500 Saturday at Talladega. 

It was a 1-2-3 finish for Chevy drivers with Chase Elliott winning the event and Alex Bowman finishing second. 

“It was awesome,” Preece said. “I was only here one other time and that was with the XFINITY [Series] car in 2016 and I was running third with three [laps] to go and I went for the sucker hole and got flushed. So I wasn’t going to do that today. Ultimately it was a perfect situation for Chevy there on that [final] restart, being able to line up and push each other and really not give any of the other manufacturers an opportunity to get by us. Great day for Kroger and great day for JTG [Daugherty] and hopefully we can use this momentum moving forward.”

Before Sunday Preece’s best Monster Energy Cup Series finish in 15 career starts was his eighth place at Daytona earlier this season.

One the final restart of the day, Preece lined up behind Elliott and Bowman and they rode their line to the front of the pack. The race ended under caution after a wreck on the backstretch after Elliott had taken the white flag.

“It was a really crazy day, well‑executed day on the Chevrolet teams’ behalf,” Chase Elliott said. “Proud of that effort.”

Preece talked after the race about importance of Chevy teams working together at the end.

“You have your practice and qualifying and you really don’t know what you’re going to have until the race,” Preece said. “We started out the race and we were really really loose and the plan was to just ride around until about 50 to go. … We got ourselves in position to have a good day. Then that last restart, honestly, we were in as good of a position as you could be. 

“There was a meeting earlier in the day [Saturday] with Chevy about working with other Chevy’s. That last restart really couldn’t have worked out any better for everybody with Chevy because we were all committed to pushing one another. I’m just happy that was the case and I wasn’t the odd man out there. … It felt good those last three or four laps knowing that I was going to get moved out of the way or shuffled. And ultimately we were able to keep everybody in line and it was a great day.”

Ryan Preece (47) takes the checkered flag Sunday at Talladega behind race winner Chase Elliott (9) and second place Alex Bowman (88) (Photo: Alan Marler/Chevy Racing)

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  1. Nice job, played it out very well.

  2. Always knew that kid had talent! You don’t finish second in the National Modified points at age 18 if you suck. Always thought the kid would make it to the BIG boys sooner. He is an all around good dude! “GO PREECE LIGHTING”

  3. I would love to see NASCAR adding a top-3 (Formula 1, road racing, and most other forms) podium to victory lane.

  4. I’m not going to pretend I know the nuances of Cup racing. Nor will I say I am unbiased. But from lap 7 with Preece running 9th and maneuvering his car to third at the finish was masterful. All that after running a good part of the race at 15th to 20th which is what you’d expect.
    Surprise number 2 for Preece’s rookie year. Shocking in fact in my view.

  5. Viva race fan says

    Great job being patient in the end Ryan… Congrates

  6. Great job by Preece all race long, he knew when to fall back, when his handling wasn’t quite right, and charged at the end to a solid third. Don’t think the car had a mark on it. If not for the cautions , who knows, maybe a win. Anyway great job by Ryan and the #47 JTG team

  7. I agree with Barry, NASCAR should adopt the podium style, that other forms of racing have, and give 1st thru 3rd trophy’s

  8. That was fantastic- great job!
    I now have a reason to watch cup again, Preece generally, but pulling for him to finish ahead of Hemric is kinda fun!

  9. Fast Eddie says

    Great job by Ryan and the #47 organization! And I have to agree that with 40 drivers in an event, the top three should be fully acknowledged.

  10. I think the number 47 with a new Englander driving at Talladega is the hot set-up , worked before , maybe again next time

  11. Johnny J says

    Nascar isn’t on that level of podium style. They watered down the sport so much to try and please people that do not watch or have interest. They hurt their own product.

  12. What driver that has come out of the Whalen Mods have placed higher then 3rd in cup?

  13. GMR you must be young , nothing wrong with that I wish I was few years younger, I can remember a few

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