Building Block: Ryan Preece Scores Fifth Place Finish In Cup Series Cookout 400 At Richmond 

Ryan Preece (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

It was the complete foundation laying day Ryan Preece has been waiting for all season Sunday at Richmond Raceway. 

Preece, who has seemed snake-bitten for much of his first season with Stewart-Haas Racing, ran up front with the leaders at the end of the show and finished the day with a season best fifth place finish in the Cookout 400 Sunday at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. 

“I’m really proud of [crew chief] Chad Johnston and the whole United Rentals Ford Mustang [No.] 41 from Stewart-Haas [Racing],” Preece said. “That was a really good day for the whole organization it looks like. If we can consistently bring cars like that and all of us keep holding ourselves accountable, … we’ll continue to be where we want to be.” 

It was the first top-10 finish of the season for Preece and the third top-five finish for him in 137 career Cup Series starts dating back to 2015. Preece, the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion, had a third place finish April 28, 2019 at Talladega Superspeedway and a fourth place finish at Daytona International Speedway on Aug. 28, 2021. 

“I’m a racer so I hate losing more than than I love winning, but, to be honest with you, we needed a solid day,” Preece told Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports. “We needed to lay this foundation. … If we consistently bring cars like this and we continue to execute, we’ll have more days like this.” 

Preece was running third behind eventual race winner Chris Buescher and second place Denny Hamlin when caution flew on lap 392. On the lap 398 restart he lost third place of Kyle Busch and then gave up fourth to Joey Logano. 

“Unfortunately I wish we could have won the race, or finished top-three like we probably were going to,” Preece said. “The hands we were dealt for that final run, just a little too tight. Long runs was our ticket.” 


  1. I know Ryan is disappointed that he did not finish third, and probably would have, if not for last caution. But they battled back from a lackluster first pit stop that put him back to 16th when he came in from 7th to pit.
    He qualified great. He ran great.
    This feels like a win to me.
    I really liked it when he said, “I told Chad that if he could set the car up where I can roll through the middle good, I’ll take care of the loose in”. Obviously Chad, (and sans the first stop) and his pit crew lived up to the task for the race.
    So I have to ask, Suitcase, did you send Preece that new horseshoe we talked about? If so, it appears to have worked!

  2. What a welcome sight, a top 5! Where he sits in the points really doesn’t reflect several of the great runs he’s had this season. He’s really the only reason I put on the Sunday race, otherwise I really wouldn’t care much…

  3. Driver x says

    Im prouud of ryan and the growth he’s shown in only 3 full time cup seasons and speaks to how good the staff is at stewart haas is at helping growing drivers and how ryan is willing to put the hard work in.

  4. Suitcase Jake says

    ” The LUCKY PENNY” did the Trick …!!!! dropped it under the seat and the rest is History … LOL FINALLY !!! i was asking for a yellow to catch up , but that backfired ,, with a long run car… SO SO happy to finally put together a good race… So looking forward to Martinsville …. His best chance to get that all important first Cup Win…..Goldy I am with you .. Ryan keeps me coming back to watch Cup Racing every week….

  5. 🍃 High Steaks 🥩 says

    I was in the pits and could tell by his demeanor after qualifying (despite just missing round 2) that he was feeling good about his car. Happy to see it!

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