Runaway: Ryan Preece Dominates Late To Win Outlaw Open Modified Sunoco 100 At Thompson 

Ryan Preece celebrates victory in the Thompson Outlaw Open Modified Sunoco 100 Saturday at Thompson Speedway (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

THOMPSON – As Ryan Preece slowed on the frontstretch Saturday night at Thompson Speedway heading to victory lane, Woody Pitkat gave him a friendly tap to the rear bumper. 

Trust this, Pitkat had to make up a lot of ground on the cool down lap to get close enough to give Preece that playful tap. 

Preece left the field far behind over the final 12 laps to score a runaway victory in the Thompson Outlaw Open Modified Sunoco 100 Saturday at the Sunoco World Series at Thompson Speedway. 

Preece, of Berlin, collected a $10,000 payday for the victory. 

“I’m just pumped to have a car like that at the end,” Preece said. “I stuck to my plan. She was a rocket. Man that’s freaking awesome.”

Pitkat, of Stafford, was second, a distance 1.8 seconds behind Preece at the checkered flag. 

“From where we came from yesterday to today was night and day,” said Pitkat, who was 15th in the Modified Racing Series event Friday at Thompson. “Hats off to [crew chief Cam McDermott]. This is the car that we ran [in the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series NAPA Fall Final at Stafford on April 24] that got destroyed. He wanted to come here with this car and he worked his ass off.” 

Matt Swanson of Acton, Mass. was third. 

“[Team owner] Gary Casella gave me one hell of a hot rod,” Swanson said. “This car was a bare frame five days ago. It was a long week, a lot of sleepless nights, but the No. 25, when it comes to the race track, it’s always prepared and it’s always going to be fast, especially with the awesome group of guys [on the team].” 

Keith Rocco took control at the start of the event with Craig Lutz settling into second. On lap seven Ronnie Williams got by Lutz to take over the runner-up position and began chase of Rocco. 

Williams and Rocco swapped the lead twice on lap 19, but then Rocco quickly got away from Williams on lap 20.  On lap 21 Pitkat moved past Williams to take over second place. 

By lap 64, without a caution, Rocco was left working a massive amount of lapped traffic, with Pitkat stalking his every move through it all. Ten car lengths behind Pitkat, Preece patiently rode around in third place. 

“We were too loose that first run,” Preece said. “[Rocco] and [Pitkat] were really good.” 

Pitkat’s stalking of Rocco for 50 laps paid off on lap 73. Pitkat used the outside lane off of turn two get a run on Rocco, and came off of turn four in the lead. 

By lap 80 Pitkat had built his advantage over second place Rocco to 1.1 seconds with Preece in third, 1.7 seconds off the lead. 

The first caution of the race came on lap 83 when Andrew Charron spun the frontstretch. The caution sent all the lead lap cars to pit road. 

Pitkat won the race off of pit road with Mike Christopher Jr. going from fifth to second. Preece came off pit road third and Eric Goodale fourth. Jake Johnson restart fifth with Rocco behind him in sixth. 

On the lap 83 restart it was Pitkat getting the jump on Christopher. On the next lap Preece got a run under Christopher through turn two and had second place through turns three and four. 

Caution was back out again on lap 85 when Johnson ended up in the turn two wall while running sixth. 

On the lap 85 restart Pitkat chose the outside. Pitkat and Preece went side-by-side though turns one and two and down the backstretch. Pitkat ended up out of the groove through turn four, allowing Preece to take over the top spot. Pitkat fought off Goodale’s effort to take over second. 

“I was hoping that we weren’t going to have a caution there,” Pitkat said. “… We had an awesome pit stop, we came out first, everything was aligned and we just missed it a little bit with the tire stagger.” 

Caution was back out again on lap 87 when Spencer Davis got in the wall in turn four. On the lap 87 restart it was Preece getting a monster jump away from Pitkat while behind them Austin Beers moved past Goodale for third place. 

On lap 90 Swanson got by Beers to move to third. By lap 91 Preece had checked out by 1.2 seconds over second place Pitkat. 


  1. This is all just so bittersweet. It’s great seeing Preece race locally he always brings his A game and the energy at the same time. He’s been more engaged this year with his own car, working on it a lot to make it better and this race the culmination of all that effort.
    Not paying any attention to CUP but I do pay attention to the guys commenting in this forum about Preece’s CUP prospects. I trust they are onto something and it’s not what I’m wanting the read. Trending negative on the day job prospects.
    By strictly the numbers how’s it going so far?

    The plan January 2022.
    ” total of 12 races – two in Cup, three in Xfinity and seven in Truck”
    Modeling races on the simulator, back-up driver in case regular driver gets sidelined by Covid.

    Results to date (Racing Reference)
    2 Cup races-disappointing results
    3 Xfinity-2 top 10’s and 1 top 5.
    Trucks-9 races, 1 pole, 8 top 10’s, 6 top 5’s and one win

    You tell me is it going according to plan or not? I’m thinking Ryan’s held up his end getting more truck races then the original plan.
    Ideally Preece should not have the time for all this and be back in the CUP shop carving out a niche in the bigs shouldn’t he? Money, job security and a place on a major CUP team in some fashion is my hope. Hearing the “A” word mentioned and urgency not good. Preferably as a driver but he’s a racing guy with a racing mind so if it were something like Reggie Ruggiero landed that would be fine as well.
    Glass half full view: Preece on target with his performance in the scheduled NASCAR events. Maintaining sponsorships with nationally recognized companies. Simulator where ever he goes to do the simulator modeling work on a remote basis. No worries on the modified racing commitments, it’s all part of the plan.
    Is the CUP half full view naive?

  2. Preece is in the bigs. there are better drivers who never or will not get there . He`s racing for a living why feel bad?. As for all those parents spending their life savings right now on their child to race , when Jeff Gordon / Hendrick make a statement that the sport at the top level has major issues, my suggestion is have a backup plan for your son or daughter like healthcare or green energy LOL. NASCAR and the France family dynasty is vulnerable and they have been greedy. Lets see if they are willing to give some back to the sport they claim to love and live for. Companies no longer have the money to throw away on racing/advertising as these big corps are being punished by government thru new taxes and targeted as evil capitalists’ .. LOL …IF these major league sports including football, basketball ,baseball and hockey didn’t have the TV / Media deals they would have ZERO. The only other real income is from the sale of clothing, ballcaps and the like. That’s also waaayyyy down except in the urban areas. sports as we know it is going to change ..MISS CLEO KNOWS

  3. Rebecca Swiech says

    Great win and happy for Preece!!! Hey Shawn,I noticed the Monaco Modified TRI -TRACK trailer in the pit area with the scales out I believe, Did they have a part in the in open show???Just curious and great to see 32 cars,

  4. Rebecca Swiech,
    The Thompson Speedway operators work in conjunction with the Monaco Modified Tri-Track Series officiating team for assistance with tech for the Outlaw Open Modified events at the track.

  5. Congrats to Ryan for winning the outlaw 100. Great job.

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