Ryan Preece Back To NASCAR Cup Series Full-Time In 2023

Ryan Preece (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ryan Preece is headed back to the NASCAR Cup Series full-time in 2023. 

It was announced Wednesday that Preece will replace Cole Custer in the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Cup Series stable.

It will mark Preece’s second foray into the Cup Series as a full-time driver. Preece ran three seasons (2019-2021) for the perennially mid-pack JTG Daugherty Racing team. He was released from the team following the 2021 season.

Preece spent the past year as a simulator driver for Stewart-Haas Racing.

“Ryan Preece has been a real asset to our race team this year as we’ve developed the Next Gen car,” team co-owner Tony Stewart said in a release from the team. “The time and effort he’s put into our program, combined with his real-world racing experience, earned him this opportunity.”

Said Preece: “This is the opportunity I’ve been working for. Nothing was guaranteed at the start of this year, but I felt like if I put in the time, whether it was in a race car or in a simulator, that SHR was the place for me. It’s a company built by racers, for racers, and it’s exactly where I want to be.”

“I know this season just finished and most people are looking to take a break, but I can’t wait to get going.”

Preece, a longtime regular at Stafford Speedway, Thompson Speedway and Riverhead Raceway, won the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship. In 2017 he got his first Xfinity Series win at Iowa Speedway driving for Joe Gibbs Racing.

“Ryan has bet on himself a couple of times in his career and it’s always paid off. Now we’re betting on him,” Stewart said. “I’ve run some Modified Tour races and it’s a tough series with a lot of talent. Ryan’s Mod Tour championship speaks to his talent, and I think he proved that when he pushed all his chips into the middle of the table and bet on himself by getting those Xfinity Series races with Gibbs.

“When he finally got the right opportunity, he delivered in a big way. Now, Ryan’s got the right opportunity in Cup. We’re proud to have him and look forward to seeing what he can do in our race cars.”

Preece will make his debut in the No. 41 Ford Mustang during the non-points Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum on Feb. 5 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before starting the 36-race Cup Series season at the 65th Daytona 500 on Feb. 19 at Daytona International Speedway.

Preece has 115 Cup Series starts with two top-five finishes and nine top-10’s. He made two Cup starts in 2022. He has two wins, 13 top-five’s and 21 top-10’s in 62 Xfinity Series starts since 2013. He made three Xfinity Series starts in 2022. He has two wins, eight top-fives and 11 top-10’s in 12 career starts in the Camping World Truck Series, including a win and seven top-five’s in 10 starts in 2022. On the Whelen Modified Tour Preece has 25 victories and 81 top-five’s in 171 starts since 2007. He made five Whelen Modified Tour starts in 2022.

Custer will fall back to the Stewart-Haas Racing Xfinity Series team.

“Cole Custer has been a part of SHR since 2017 and we’re glad to have him stay with us,” Stewart said. “Cole’s experience will be invaluable to Riley Herbst as he continues his development in the Xfinity Series.”

Hear lots more from Ryan Preece on his move the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Cup Series car on the latest edition of Unmuffled


  1. This is the shot we all have been waiting for!!Go “Preece Lighting”!

  2. Oh good, I have a new driver to root for!

  3. I have a good feeling about this.

    And now I can’t wait for February!!!!!

  4. Good for him. Tenacious.
    He made it happen.
    Cant wait to see how he handles good equipment. Make or break time.

  5. This is great news for a local driver who worked tirelessly to make the top tier.Great person and well deserved.Go get that win and many more.

  6. Very good.

    Now Preece has far better backing and resources than he had at JTG. Now we get to see what he can really do.

  7. Arch Stanton says

    A well deserved opportunity. Preece has been the victim of circumstances far too often. I hope Custer’s reassignment doesn’t cause friction within the organization that will negatively impact Preece’s performance. Still think Preece would have won that Daytona 500 had it not been for Mr. Majestyk’s hail melon move below the apron.

  8. This appears to be an excellent move for them all. Riley Herbst has the financial backing to go pretty far. Hopefully his skills will be suitable too. Watch for him to move up in a couple years.

  9. Suitcase Jake says

    He earned it!!! Like we said many times .. keep your name out there grinding away .. keep working hard… you don’t know who’s watching… I was hoping and praying for another Shot for Ryan… We all knew it had to be a top notch team for Ryan this time around.. Well there it is… Stewart Haas … Top Notch cars and teams… So glad we kept the faith that it would happen as Ryan hustled around the Country.. Racing in everything he could get His hands on .. Hard work does pay off….I had faith He would get another chance at CUP but even I was getting nervous with the lack of quality rides out there seemingly locked up tight…I am so excited because this year will be my first Daytona Speed-weeks and my First 500 at the Beach… I can’t wait for New Smyrna Modified’s and the Daytona Races… Now I can load up on new Ryan Preece Gear and show that New England pride down South… I am going to predict 3 Wins in 2023 for Ryan….Can’t believe it finally happened … Keep working – don’t ever quit …. good things happen….

  10. Great news – this team was not so good this year, I’m pretty sure it had nothing to do with the driver, hopefully they shake this team up and make Ryan a multi-winner in 2023

  11. Frank Bennett says

    Good luck Ryan. We have followed you thru our local tracks and no you will succeed. You earned the spot.

  12. Ryan has been given a second chance, not many drivers can say that. It will be interesting to see what Ryan can do now that he’s in great equipment. I’m going out on a limb, and saying he’ll win at least 2 races maybe more, and will go deep into the playoffs.
    Best of luck to him and the #41 SHR team.

  13. If he consistently runs in the top 15 the first year back that would be very good. I’m sure he will do better than Bubba . . . . .

  14. Pete,
    What does Bubba Wallace have to do with anything involving Ryan Preece? Seems like Bubba is just renting a bunch of space in your head.
    So if Bubba Wallace finishes 12th in points next year and Ryan Preece finishes 13th will you then deem Ryan to be a failure?

  15. Hey Pete, you need to get yourself a new case of corn flakes.

  16. He is like a yard marker to me. He’s not in my anything. If he was not a minority his skill set would not get him a NASCAR ride most likely. Ryan needs to finish consistently in the top 15. Ahead of Bubba is expected. If he makes the playoffs that would be success to some. I still consider the made up playoffs and new way of determining a champion a scam to justify in their minds the network that does not have daytime football to pay as much as they are. Silly. Winning one race can be a fluke. Depends upon a lot of other factors with the current generation of kit cars. Open wheel Sprint Cars on dirt is way better to me.

  17. If he’s “not in my anything” as you say, why do you continually bring up his name in topics that have absolutely nothing to do with him? It’s not the first time you’ve done it.

    You say: “If he was not a minority his skill set would not get him a NASCAR ride most likely.”

    Here’s a list of names: Aric Armirola, Chris Beuscher, Justin Haley, Michael McDowell, Brad Keselowski, Ricky Stenhouse, Harrison Burton, Todd Gilliland, Ty Dillon, Corey LaJoie. All those guys finished behind Bubba Wallace in the standings in 2022. Interestingly, all of those guys beside Buescher also ran one more event than Wallace in 2022 and still finished behind him in the standings.

    So if Bubba Wallace is only in his ride because he’s black and not because of skill or talent – as you just said – then you’re basically saying that every one of these guys I listed also don’t belong in the sport, right? Because if none of those guys could accumulate more points over a season than a guy with no talent than they must certainly not belong, right?

    If Bubba Wallace’s “skill set” is your “yard marker” for what belongs and what doesn’t belong, as you said, then you’re basically saying pretty much half of the drivers starting weekly in the series shouldn’t be competing. So you’re saying NASCAR should only start 18 cars every week in Cup Series events?

  18. Yo Pete, Bubba Wallace is outperforming lots of white guys.

  19. I’m aware of many others that Bubba finished above. There are many good drivers in the below Bubba bunch, money and luck plays a large part in how they all finish. NASCAR tracks need more cars to fill them up for TV. Remember when they did not have full fields of cars? Start and park? Racing was still good. Most short car tracks start way fewer cars. So on the half mile I think 20 is more than enough. If a car goes 2 laps down they should be retired. NASCAR needed more cars on the track so they created the system they have now, I’ll stand behind my statement that Bubba could not make it based on his accomplishments. I’m not going to look up his racing resume but share it if you like.

  20. The team is a good well funded one. Imagine if they had a better proven driver no matter what race he or she is. Of course without a minority driver they may not have the funding . . . . . . . LOL. NASCAR is big on minorities. I prefer skills . . . . . . Unlike most of you I don’t hide behind a screen name either.

  21. Pete,
    Instead of just talking in circles, why don’t you just come out say you don’t think black people should be in NASCAR? I mean, it’s basically what you just keep going back to with all the inane word stew you just keep serving up.
    So in one breath you say: “If he was not a minority his skill set would not get him a NASCAR ride most likely.”
    Ok, so you’re saying he doesn’t have the skills that are good enough to belong in the NASCAR Cup Series.
    But then when it’s mentioned that if you removed everybody that finished behind him in the standings – because by your judgement if he’s not skilled enough to belong than anyone finishing worse than him regularly also wouldn’t be skilled enough to belong either – you’d be left with less than 20 cars. And when you’re told that you’d be left with 20 cars you say “NASCAR tracks need more cars to fill them up for TV.” So if you’re saying that NASCAR needs 40 or so cars in their fields for Cup races then apparently Wallace’s currently skill level is good enough for what they need to make tracks and TV happy. Which brings us all the way back to what you first said, which was that he wasn’t skilled enough for a “NASCAR ride”. But apparently he is since NASCAR needs about 40 cars a week to race and he showed this year that he has the skill to finish in the top-20 in the standings, even after missing a race. So see, you’re just throwing out meaningless rationalizations for why he doesn’t belong, even though the rationalizations you continue to use don’t actually square up with reality or the results shown. So it keeps coming back to this. You keep on saying over and over and over that he’s only in the sport because he’s a minority, but yet his results indicate he’s better than most other competitors he competes with weekly. So yeah, I don’t get the feeling your opinion of him has anything to do with his resume or his results, but everything to do with the color of his skin.

  22. Nope. He just flaunts it. Needs it. Can’t make it otherwise. He is a field filler than has sponsors that want minorities like there are ones that want women. If he was white he would not be in NASCAR. End of my comments on this clown.

  23. So I’m watching a focus group of four self identified MAGA supporters I’m guessing a couple months a go and the person interviewing them was the well respected CBS reporter Major Garrett. They seemed all like pretty average folks, middle class you could say and white. Two woman, two men maybe late 30’s to late 50’s. All supporting Trump and what he stood for. Liked his policies. Skeptical about his chances of winning again. To the question, was the election in 2020 stolen as Trump claimed all but one said no they accepted the result. To the denier Major Garrett very respectfully mentioned a number of well established facts showing the election wasn’t stolen and each time the gentlemen waived it off. Finally he said look I’m a smart person and I don’t care what the evidence is I just know something had to be wrong for Trump to lose.
    I’m guess some readers may think I’m making a political statement or connecting the focus of this anecdote to politics but that’s not the case. It’s about the resistance to facts for some people no matter how credible the facts are.
    That’s where this guy from Wisconsin is. You can state fact after fact why he’s wrong but it’s like talking to a brick wall. He knows what he knows. I certainly don’t know if Pete J Pfankuch is a racist but it’s pretty clear he’s a bigot. The shear volume of his mentions of the black guy in a dismissive and demeaning tone makes it pretty clear but not even that is my point in writing this.
    The point is why. Why Mr. Courchesne are you trying to change a person’s mind who knows what he knows and no fact will change it no matter how compelling?

  24. Doug,
    Very well said.

  25. Pete wrote, ” … If he was white he would not be in NASCAR. End of my comments on this clown.”

    Target rich environment.

    Since Bubba outperforms many, many, many white guys, this comment also precludes many, many, many white guys from being in NASCAR.

    Let’s see how many more times Pete posts about Bubba.

    🤪 😜 😆 😝

  26. Pete, YOUR A RACIST. Point set match. There is no room in the racing community for people like you, you cast a dark cloud over the sport. These days are about inclusion not exclusion. Besides the FACT that Bubba worked very hard to be where he’s at, nothing was handed to him, his talent earned him that ride, not his skin color.

  27. It’s amazing to think that this is the first time a NASCAR Modified Tour driver was chosen to race a 100% winnable Cup Car/Team since around 1998 with Steve Park and DEI. No blood-out-of-a-stone equipment/opportunitues now.

  28. A whole lotta wasted discussion on the site talking to a wall; a close-minded, irrational wall., but no report or comments about the 200 lap race at Florence last Saturday night? I ‘d rather read about “racing” than “racists.” The race was prominently featured on Flo racing and was about the only thing going on.
    It turned out to be one of the most entertaining Flo-broadcast events that I saw all year. Anyone?
    Shawn, don’t take this as a nasty compaint. RaceDayCT is a godsend. I just like racing and more racing. Oh well, maybe I’m just taking this whole race-fan interest too seriously.

  29. Does that mean we should stop the football deal?

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