Ryan Preece Opens NASCAR Cup Series Season With Consecutive Top-10 Finishes

Ryan Preece (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Last year Ryan Preece had two top-10 finishes in 36 NASCAR Cup Series starts. 

In 2021 it took him exactly two races to match that 2020 total. 

Preece finished ninth in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 on the road course at Daytona International Speedway Sunday. 

“Our No. 37 Kroger/Coca-Cola Chevrolet was the best road course car we’ve had,” Preece said following Sunday’s event at Daytona. “We struggled early in the race needing a little more forward drive, but [crew chief Trent Owens] made some really great adjustments and kept working on it to get us where we could make moves.

“I’m really proud of everyone at JTG Daugherty Racing for giving us a car that was fast and even with the damage from a late-race caution, we were able to hold our track position and get a second top-10 finish for the season. It’s been a great start so far and we’re just going to keep digging forward next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway.”

Christopher Bell got his first career series victory in winning Sunday’s event on the Daytona road course.

Sunday’s ninth place finish for Preece followed a sixth place finish in the season opening Daytona 500 last Sunday for the former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion. 

Preece sits sixth in the Cup Series standings, 12 points behind leader Austin Dillon and just two points behind reigning series champion Chase Elliott. 


  1. I watched a pretty good portion of this race. Probably most of the third segment and finish. I dont think I ever saw Preece’s car on TV. And they wonder why sponsors are leaving the sport for some of these smaller teams. Didnt they used to do a through the field segment so all the teams got a little bit of coverage. Do they still do that and I am just asleep when they do. Anyway that is my Nascar rant. Last lap pass for the lead, first time winner Christopher Bell. I guess this one will check a few boxes for quality entertainment.

    I couldnt be happier for Preece. It is great to see the local guy do well. He has outrun his teammate both times out. If Preece is in better position for a playoff spot than Stenhouse when funding dries up will they really sit Preece in favor of Stenhouse. Lets hope Preece continues to run well forcing Dougherty racing to run Preece the full season. I was thinking a great story would be how Preece is preparing for the Bristol dirt race. I dont think he has much if any experience racing on dirt. I believe that race is coming up in March.

  2. “Nothing to report on Ryan Preece, he’s run an error free race so far”
    That’s Mike Joy going through the top 10 as the race was winding down.
    23rd last year and this year top 10. Mostly because of the great starting position and the entire team from Preece on down running an error free race.
    The pressure must be intense on the 37 to finish well and increase the odds of getting more sponsorship. They sure are doing everything they can so far.
    Seems like something is different. Perhaps better motors, the cohesion of working together for a while or just the pressure a non chartered, under funded team is under.
    The next four races before dirt, Homestead, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Atlanta will tell us if something is different or if the first two races were as good as it could get. 18th was the best the 37 could muster last year at the four tracks and that was only one of two in the top 20. In all likelihood they won’t be in the top 10 or perhaps anywhere near it but they have to finish the races and simply be better then last year.
    Then dirt. You don’t want to be going to Bristol on dirt behind the 8 ball looking to turn things around.

  3. Entertaining race, I don’t mind the increase in road course events. Preece 2 Top 10s way to go Ryan were rooting for you up here in the Neast. Preece Nation on the move. No ill will to his teammate Wrecky but let’s hope JTG/Ryan can find some more funding to run the whole season.

  4. Excellent , Excellent, Sometimes when you put a TEAM in a HIGH PRESSURE situation it brings out the Best in everyone. They Hired Ryan because He is a WINNER….The team now has gained some believability and that will only propel them forward… The tides are turning… even against the tough odds they are performing beyond all expectations …. keep working hard on pit stops… Keep digging… This is going to be must see Racing before you know it….. Pressure can either make you or brake you and we all know Ryan is Great under Pressure… This team is turning some heads in the Cup Garage ….Owners are taking notice… At this Level you are constantly being evaluated by the Big Boys Club….

  5. Good race. Preece came from far back a couple times. He needs a better pit crew.

    It is quite surprising to see so many drivers overshoot an entry. It happened to a few big name drivers. Some just lost it on modest bends in the track. It’s exciting for sure.

    I went to Lime Rock and Watkins Glen… if you don’t want to walk around to different vantage points, then in front of a TV is the best place, concessions are in the next room, and the bathrooms are clean with no lines.

  6. Dareal I think the reason some of them struggled getting them slowed up was a lot of wheel hop on the downshift which they’re just not used to doing at the speeds they were carrying into some of those corners at daytona. I think I heard they were hitting 190 mph. Insane speed to slow up.

  7. Viva Race Fan says

    Its unbelievable how good these racers are. Fun race to watch. To Bad Kyle Larson over shot the turn was hopefully he would have a shot. Great race and Ryan killed it.

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