Three For Six: Ryan Preece Rolls To Third Consecutive Whelen Mod Tour Win In Richmond Virginia Is For Lovers 150

Ryan Preece (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

A part-time schedule on the Whelen Modified Tour has turned into a full-time job visiting victory lane of late for Ryan Preece.

Preece, of Berlin, dominated in the late stages to score victory in the Whelen Modified Tour Virginia Is For Lovers 150 Friday at Richmond (Va.) Raceway.

“I haven’t had a perfect race car in a long time, but that was one sporty hot rod,” Preece said of the ride from his Eddie and Connie Partridge owned TS Haulers team “… This entire team right here, these guys, they stick with me whether I’m running a short track up in Connecticut, up in New York, wherever it is. … This team has been together for quite a while now so it’s cool to have them here in victory lane.”

It was the third victory in the last three Whelen Modfied Tour starts for Preece, the 2013 series champion who now competes regularly on the NASCAR Cup Series. Preece, who was making his seventh series start of the season, also won on July 17 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and on Aug. 6 at Stafford Speedway.

Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, Mass. was second and Ronnie Williams of Ellington third.

The race kicked off with Preece and series points leader and reigning champion Justin Bonsignore playing the lead swap game early. Preece went past Bonsignore – the pole winner – for the lead on lap two. Bonsignore went back to the front on lap eight. It was Preece regaining the top spot on lap 12.

The first caution flew on lap 19 for the stopped car of Bobby Santos III. Following the restart it was Bonsignore going back to the front by Preece on lap 26, but the pass was negated due to the second caution of the event. After the ensuing restart Bonsignore went back by Preece for the lead on lap 34. Preece jumped back to the front on lap 36.

On lap 37 Patrick Emerling, who came into the night second in the series standings, 20 points behind Bonsignore, slowed on the track and stopped on pit road.

On lap 44 Ryan Newman went by Bonsignore for second place. Newman stalked down Preece out front and went to the lead on lap 51.

Caution flew on lap 55 for debris with Newman leading, Preece in second, Bonsignore in third and Ronnie Williams in fourth. Most of the the leaders pitted under caution The race restarted with Tyler Rypkema leading, Andrew Krause in second and Andy Jankowiak third.

Preece restarted fifth on lap 61 and was up to second by lap 64. On lap 65 Preece got by Krause for the lead with Williams going to second.

On lap 67 Williams went by Preece for the lead and then set sail out front. On lap 75 Bonsignore went to the garage under green with mechanical issues.

Williams opened up a 1.3 second lead over Preece before caution flew on lap 94 when Bonsignore stalled trying to return to the track. Under caution most of the leaders headed back to pit road. Preece took four tires under caution and restarted the race in eighth.

The race restarted with Krause leading, Ron Silk second, Williams third and Jankowiak fourth. On the lap 100 restart it was Williams going past Krause for the lead, Jon McKennedy going to second and Preece going from eighth to third. Preece went by McKennedy for second on lap 102 and a lap later he overtook Williams for the lead.

“This thing was just stout,” Preece said. “You don’t have perfect race cars very often, but when we put those four stickers on there she was rolling.”

The race got ugly in the closing stages, ultimately leading to an overtime green-white-checkered finish.

Caution flew on lap 128 when Jamie Tomaino got together with the spinning car of Eric Goodale. Preece got the jump on the ensuring restart, but caution came out immediately for a wreck involving Newman and Woody Pitkat.

The race restarted on lap 138 with Preece holding the lead, but caution flew again on lap 140 for a wreck involving Krause and Goodale. The restart came on lap 145 with Preece holding the top spot and Williams moving past McKennedy for second. But caution flew again on lap 147 for a multi-car wreck involving Kyle Ebersole, Ron Silk and Rypkema.

Preece was able to easily get away on the final restart with McKennedy overtaking Williams for second as they came to the white flag.

“Obviously I’m happy,” Preece said of the return for the series to Richmond. “I’m the guy standing here in victory lane. The track widened out, I just didn’t expect it. Newman was making the second lane work in [turns] three and four. Ronnie Williams was making the high side work in [turns] one and two. It ended up being a lot racier than I thought it was going to be. I hope all you fans out there had a good time. I know we don’t swap the lead like we do at [New Hampshire Motor Speedway], but we had a good time.”

Newman, who started at the rear overcame numerous incidents and ended up fourth. Six-time series champion Doug Coby was fifth. Kyle Bonsignore, Austin Beers, Andy Jankowiak, Burt Myers and Pitkat rounded out the top-10 respectively.

Bonsignore ended up credited with a 24th place in the 26-car field with Emerling scored 25th. Silk, who came into the race third in the standings, 57 points off the lead, was 19th. Two events remain on the 2021 schedule with the series visiting Riverhead Raceway on Sept. 18 before closing the season on lap Sept. 25 at Stafford.

Comments

  1. Not as good a race as loudon. The wrecker crew needs some Red Bull too. Another”debris” caution so typical of Nascar. Pretty good race though. Kudos to Jonathan for a very hard won second

  2. So Preece wins at Richmond, while meanwhile his crew chief Stephen Kopsik wins the SK race at Stafford. Would be considered a good night except for the tragic news about Eddie Partridge, who was in victory lane with Ryan, only to pass away later in the night.
    My thoughts and prayers go out to Connie, the Partridge family, everyone involved with the #6 modified team and the employees at Riverhead Speedway. Rest in Peace Eddie.

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