Modified Maybe? Ryan Preece Ready To Bring Open Wheels Back To Thunder Road

The view from above the frontstretch Thursday at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vt (Photo: Shawn Courchesne/RaceDayCT)

BARRE, VT – How can you tell Modified racing runs through the veins of Ryan Preece? 

The NASCAR Cup Series driver and former Whelen Modified Tour champion climbed out of a Late Model Thursday at Thunder Road International Speedbowl and he quickly had one thing on the mind. 

“They need to have a Modified race here,” Preece said. 

While he’ll have to wait for the roar of Modifieds at Thunder Road – though maybe not that long – Thursday his focus was on being the outside invader ready to take on the track regulars in the 42nd Essex Equipment Vermont Governor’s Cup. 

Thursday’s 150-lap event will mark Preece’s first time competing on the historic quarter mile Thunder Road bullring.

When he’s not taking care of things with his full-time job with JTG Daugherty Racing on the NASCAR Cup Series this year Preece has been out competing in any Tour Type Modified event he can fit into his schedule. From the Whelen Modified Tour, to the Tri-Track Open Modified Series, to the World Series of Asphalt Racing at New Smyrna Speedway to Tour Type Open events at Stafford Speedway and Thompson Speedway and all the way to SMART events in the south, Preece has been a traveling Modified man in 2021.

So could a Tour Type Modified start at Thunder Road be in his future?

It’s pretty clear that Thunder Road co-owner Cris Michaud is interested. Michaud is the co-promoter of the six-event Thompson Outlaw Modified schedule this year at Thompson Speedway. He was in talks last year to bring a Whelen Modified Tour event to Thunder Road for 2021, but those negotiations ultimately broke down. Sources close to the Tri-Track Open Modified Series have indicated the series’ operating group is interested in putting on an event at Thunder Road soon.

“I’ll be here if it happens, I know that,” Preece said Thursday.


  1. Bill Realist says

    There was a mrs series race there on Memorial Day weekend for a couple years. First one was great. Second was a sheet show

  2. David Fisher says

    Watched the governor’s cup, and although the race for the lead was non-existent, the track looks really cool. Mods would be fun there.

  3. Besides Oswego,this is my second favorite Asphalt track.Great racing all the time.

  4. Boy was that visual at Thunder Road with the puffy clouds and blue sky rubbing the salt in the old wounds or what? They raced the prior two weeks as well.
    Seemed like Preece did about as well as one could expect. Nice persistent pass on the out side in the consi netting him a second place finish. The feature he ranged from 12th to 8th then back or something like that. Watching the Governor was fun even if he was not competitive. Vermont is a special place and it’s only fitting they have a special Governor.
    Modifieds at Thunder Road the notion and why not. Preece is a modified guy and the existence of Thunder Road on FloRacing gives it the exposure for some in our circle to imagine modifieds at the track but they aren’t necessarily needed or wanted. What they have now is great as it is.
    What a magnificent track from the racing surface and distance to the fan accommodations. Family entry charges and several ways and places to view the race. Grass roots at it’s finest. The divisions are all well stocked and they frequently race under a blanket. Unlike here an average Joe or Jane can put together a real Street Stock 4 cylinder car on a budget and be a critical part of the weekly program. The Flying Tigers are a big deal and have been the Flying Tigers forever.
    It’s full bodied country up there and no change necessary for the meat and potatoes weekly program. They don’t even need it for specials they do fine on that score as well and it is a haul and a half after all for an open modified show. Learn from the Bull Ring Bash. They’re fine the way they are.

  5. Well said Doug . I agree

  6. Michael E Thompson says

    Once a year I say go for it. Maybe a Pass/Mod combo event on saturday and a regular show on sunday.

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