Ryan Preece Heading Back To JTG Daugherty Racing NASCAR Cup Series Team For 2021 Season

Ryan Preece prepares his tires at the Tri-Track Open Modified Series SBM 121 in July at Star Speedway (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

Despite a rocky 2020 season, Berlin native and former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion will return to JTG Daugherty Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series. 

Rumors had swirled for the last two months that Preece may not return to the ride for the 2021 season.

Preece confirmed his return to the team during an interview Wednesday on Sirius-XM NASCAR Radio’s Trading Paint. 

“I’m looking forward to it,” Preece said during the interview. “They always used to talk about sophomore slumps, and I think I lived up to that sophomore slump. That was just ah, pretty terrible. Moving forward, definitely excited to be back and continue on.”

Preece had just two top-10 finishes in 36 events in his second full-time season with the Cup Series in 2020. 

The 30-year old Preece, the 2013 Whelen Modified Tour champion, had both of his top-10’s in the final 10 events of the season, which also featured eight top-20 finishes for the team. And after suffering eight DNF’s over the first 26 races of the year, the team finished all 10 of the final 10 events. 

“Gets ya ready for 2021 because I can’t wait to stop saying 2020,” Preece said of the positive late run for the team. 

Preece is optimistic change is coming with the organization.

“We’re working towards it,” Preece said. “I feel like the steps are definitely being taken and we’re just going to continue on to keep getting better.” 

Preece is coming off a victory in the Islip 300 Tour Type Modified event Saturday at Riverhead Raceway.


  1. Good news indeed. Now they’ve got a few seasons together, hopefully 2021 will be a great year, with more consistent and higher finishes

  2. Austin Konenski – October 9, 2020

    “What is going on with JTG Daugherty Racing?

    Erik Jones has been one name tossed around in the ring of potential rides. Jones wouldn’t have to bring any sponsorship, which is a positive situation for him. I recently wrote an article that described why Jones would fit perfectly at JTG Daugherty. I still think Jones ends up with the organization, however, Preece returning would not be a surprise.

    Prediction: No. 37 – Erik Jones + No. 47 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.”

    Suck it Austin Konenski. You’re writing the guy off early October ” He has not lived up to the standards set for him.” A month later you do a 180. . Preece clearly a better driver then you are a predicter. You might want to get another crystal ball for NASCAR writer Zack Albert.as well.

    August 7, 2020
    “Likelihood: Adding Jones would be quite the coup for the two-car organization. But the youngster may not want to take on a rebuilding project unless other options are exhausted.”

    As late as October 9 they wrote off Preece. Tarnished former young phenom Eric Jones would be such a great get to replace Preece they said goes to the 43 that finished 22 in 2020. Historic team, meh results so good luck with that step down. Chris Buescher, remember him? His big move up and he is 21st in points. He dropped a spot!!. Teammate Stenhouse who looked to show a driver and crew chief could move JTG Daugherty up a tier ends up 24 outperformed by Preece down the stretch.
    Our man Ryan constantly referred to as on thin ice or a dead man driving. Yet the bottom line is all these guys supposedly making big moves can’t crack the top 20.
    Same goals for 2021 for the realistic. That don’t include some wild eyed, unrealistic finish mid teens from fans that don’t have a clue like myself without any appreciation of how brutally competitive Cup is. Finish races, get some top 10’s, a top 5 would be nice and crack the top 20 in points or at least breath hard on it. Most of all make 2021 look like a real come back.
    Well done Mr. Preece. I’m happy that you will not be available to expand your modified drop ins in 2021 since you will be otherwise occupied with your day job.

  3. knuckles Mahoney says

    Good for him. He is deserving compared to some in the cup ranks.

  4. It’s not like JTG is a Hendrick, Gibbs, Childress, or some other powerhouse multi-car team. Change drivers all you want, the JTG cars are not going to perform any better. Stenhouse is supposedly a seasoned veteran that did not get any attention this season.

    The JTG cars simply do not have the ponies, and can’t hang with the powerhouse team cars.

  5. JTG builds their own cars, and uses Hendrick power. It’s all about over performing your equipment Stenthouse coupled with Brian Pattie couldn’t gain performance, but also weren’t that great at Roush either. It would be interesting to see what would happen if they had He frick, or RCR cars and power. In the meantime Ryan is forced to over perform the equipment he’s given.

  6. Some of these sports writers covering cup, should have stuck to covering their kids T-ball league. Same with some broadcast personalities. A guy Starts the race on the pole, falls back to third I. the second lap, and he’s doomed, his day is done might as well just park it

  7. Josh paradis says

    I think its great to see him back. The biggest problem i saw is that his pit crew is costing him time on pit road.

  8. All of the above.
    Hard worker, talented. I do agree Dareal, but I’ll put on my rose colored glasses and IMO, JTG
    much better rides than Wareracing, Go Fas, Spire, Baldwin, Germain, Starcom, ect. and that he has a shot at possible mid teens point finish for starters here.
    I’ll settle for the current JTG above average mediocrity, over all those others, because we have seen an occasional flash here and there from both cars.
    But the main reason I like this? Ryan has made watching cup bearable for me. (Selfish, right?) “Where is he? How is he doing? Hey, they are actually showing the 37 on tv! Hey, they are actually talking about Ryan in the booth! Hey, mike Joy and Jeff Gordon talking about our beloved modifieds in a cup race!” National exposure. Why? Because of Ryan. Good stuff , good for Ryan, great for fans. Can’ t wait for spring (in more ways than one!).

  9. Great to see Ryan back in NASCAR Cup for the 2021 season and hopefully it will be a better year for him.

  10. Great news, Another year if front of Cup Owners watching Ryan fight back after a tough start, Many of those wrecks took Him out of races were not his fault, other peoples mistakes … Lots of HARD wall hits that would have had serious injuries 15 yrs ago. Ryan is a very likable Driver and Person . I am hoping that one of the Large Teams will see His Talent and Determination, His willingness to get His hands dirty in the shop working with the Team, Trying to work His way up the Cup Ladder. The great thing about Cup is it’s a environment where you’re constantly being evaluated, If You perform in known lesser equipment it opens the door for an Owner to ask “what can Ryan do if we put him in a really Competitive Car???
    I believe like many on this site, that Ryan can compete with the Best of Cup Drivers.. Let’s hope Gibb’s doesn’t forget how successful He was part time, What could he do full time ??? A top 5 would turn some heads in the Cup Garage … Lets hope Ryan gets a shot in a Top Ride after a Great 2021 !!!!

  11. Good news. I think Preece is a good racer and deserves to stay at the highest level. I wish the team he was with was a little more competitive. Its tough knowing everything has to break right for you to get a chance at a top ten finish. My interest in cup racing may be at an all time recent high with Kyle Larson coming back, Preece remaining in Cup and the revamped schedule. It will probably last through the Daytona 500, actually probably that Bristol dirt race. My interest hasnt been much since Jr retired and it was waning before that. Not sure what they can do to bring back a lot of interest in the series. I am hoping that new car coming in within the next couple of seasons makes them a little less aero sensitive and the racing improves. Do you guys think Michael Jordan’s ownership will increase interest and viewership in Nascar next season? In my opinion, it cant hurt but I doubt it moves the needle much.

  12. You hear Ryan mentioned more, and see his car more on Fox. Overall they do a better job of covering the race than NBCSN, who mainly talk about, and show, the leaders. I don’t care for NBCSN much. Too much talk of playoffs, overanalyzing the action, and they’re the ones, who if a driver looses a spot early in the race, they’re doomed. They hardly ever mention Preece, or anyone not running in the top 10.
    Hope Ryan continues to over perform next season, maybe then they’ll talk about him

  13. Robp

    U in my head? As I did my last post, I mentioned Fox. Why? Because I did not want to give NBC any publicity. It is as you said. Front leaders, political correctness, and nothing at all on the cars that are 10th on back. Their leader boards on screen are horrendous.
    Again, I guess I’m old. Ned Jarret, and Benny Parsons, Buddy Baker, Allen Bestwick(albeit a corny laugh). They Watched the race, not just the monitors. Often, when cameras were on the leaders, you hear the old guys say “so and so” came in for an unscheduled stop. Or, “for Hut Strickland fans, he just….).
    You got the race like you were next to your buddies in the stands.
    No more. Ugh.

  14. Gets frustrating at times. It’s especially tough to watch when they start talking about playoff cut races with still 10 races to go before the playoffs even begin.
    That whole playoff deal sucks. Playoffs are for baseball, football, basketball and hockey, not racing. Race them straight up for 36 races and let the best team win.

  15. I am happy for Ryan as well. Too bad his equipment is not the best. I would think he would have more fun racing modifieds and winning regularly instead of running mid to back pack in cup every week. It has to be hard not coming close to winning week in and week out. maybe if he can stick around until the new car is unveiled in 2022 he will have a better shot at winning! Good luck Ryan run some more modified races to keep up your confidence!!

  16. Viva race fan says

    As far as I’m concerned Ryan is from Connecticut . Joey is from the Carolina’s .
    We watch to support such a nice young man who is living a lot of our dreams growing up.
    Good luck Ryan .

  17. There’s nothing new here. Fans want their guy to run up front. They want them to be in the most screen shots and contend with the cream of the crop mostly because they don’t want to feel they are wasting their time on a loser.
    Naturally we all would like to see our man Ryan with one of Cup’s royal family teams with the best equipment but that isn’t the reality for all but a miniscule hand full of drivers.
    Preece is fine where he is and this fan is loving it. Especially the late season rally that zero people predicted.
    Competing in any sports premier league is not second rate in any sense. JTG Daugherty is a solid chartered team, has great sponsorship and Preece likely is grateful for what he has. .. That is at the top of the heap, competing in an elite group of racing talent with national media exposure and networking with heavy hitter sponsors. Oh yes and serious money and benefits as well.
    Vying to crack the top twenty is just fine. You know it’s tough when Jimmie Johnson comes in 18th. Does the guy love coming back to race modifeds? Obviously or he wouldn’t do it. Does he prefer it to racing against the best of the best with a national audience? If he does he’s doesn’t belong in Cup.

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