Ryan Preece Atlanta Cup Series Preview

(Press release from Stewart-Haas Racing)

● Event: Atlanta 400 (Round 19 of 36)

● Time/Date: 7 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 9

● Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia

● Layout: 1.54-mile oval

● Laps/Miles: 260 laps/400 miles

● Stage Lengths: Stage 1: 60 laps / Stage 2: 100 laps / Final Stage: 100 laps

● TV/Radio: USA / PRN / SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

● Ryan Preece and the No. 41 Sony Mobile ES Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will head to Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, for Sunday’s Atlanta 400 at 7 p.m. EDT with live coverage on USA, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. This weekend’s race will mark Preece’s sixth NASCAR Cup Series start at the track and his second with SHR.

● When the series visited Atlanta Motor Speedway earlier this season for the fifth points-paying event of the season, Preece and the No. 41 team started 24th and soldiered to a 28th-place finish after losing a cylinder in the first 30 laps. Preece is hoping for a better result this weekend at the 1.54-mile oval.

● Preece has two Xfinity Series starts at Atlanta with a best finish of seventh in the February 2019 race for JR Motorsports. He also made one NASCAR Truck Series start there in 2022 for David Gilliland Racing, when he finished seventh.

● This weekend marks the first race as the primary partner on the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang for Sony Mobile ES. You will long to spend more time in your car with Sony Mobile ES. Sony’s Mobile ES is the result of its insatiable desire to deliver superior In-Car Equipment. Its sound and visual quality are proof of the uncompromising passion of its engineers and advanced technology. The experience it offers will transcend you into a realm of new discoveries. Turn on the ignition and turn on your favorite music to lift your spirits, boost your mood and transform your car environment. Feel every note, hear every breath the artist takes, and witness a true-to-life musical experience. Let the music truly manifest throughout your body. Elevating the standard once again, Sony Mobile ES will redefine your driving experience. You will truly enjoy spending more time in your car. Available exclusively at authorized Sony Mobile ES retailers.

● By scanning the QR code on the No. 41 Sony Mobile ES Ford Mustang, fans can enter to win one of six Sony Mobile ES replica autographed helmets and a grand prize of Preece’s autographed race-worn helmet from this weekend’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. From there, fans are just one click away from race-winning, upgraded, Sony Mobile ES sound quality for their car, truck, SUV, boat or motorcycle. Giveaway ends on Friday, July 14. Scan the QR code for more information.

● Last Sunday, the series took on the inaugural race on the downtown Chicago Street Course, a 2.2-mile, 12-turn circuit surrounded by some of the city’s most well-known landmarks, featuring with the start/finish line at Buckingham Fountain. Persistent rain put a damper on things at times, but the Cup Series was able to practice and qualify on Saturday. Preece qualified 28th but had a fast car that helped him fight for position in the race Sunday. NASCAR shortened the race length mid-race due to daylight concerns, and pit strategy didn’t fall in the right place for the No. 41 team. Preece was able to rally to a 15th-place finish.

● In June, competitors took on Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway for the season’s second road-course race. Preece kicked off the weekend on the West Coast with a victory in the ARCA Menards Series West race on Friday afternoon. He qualified his No. 9 Bonanza Ford on the pole. From there, he dominated the race by leading 55 of 64 laps and crossed the finish line 9.675 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Sammy Smith. Preece qualified 22nd for the Cup Series race and finished 13th in the 110-lap race.

● The No. 41 SHR Ford Mustang team has continued to improve in recent weeks and has seen more and more consistency, providing a heightened sense of motivation. Preece had a career weekend at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in April, earning his first Cup Series pole and leading a career-high 135 laps. In 18 points-paying events this season, Preece has six top-15 finishes, four of which came in the last six points-paying races – May 14 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, May 29 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, June 11 at Sonoma, and Sunday’s race in Chicago.

● Preece heads to Atlanta 25th in the driver standings with 312 points.

● Preece kicked off the 2023 season with a strong showing in the non-points Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, leading a race-high 43 laps but ultimately finishing seventh after a fuel pump issue. He has a best points-paying finish of 12th this season, which came at Phoenix Raceway in March.

Ryan Preece (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

What Ryan Is Saying:

This is the second visit the Cup Series is making to Atlanta Motor Speedway this season. What were you able to learn from the first race?

“Well, we didn’t really get much of a notebook because we lost a cylinder in the first 30 laps, so I think listening to our teammates and it being hot and in the summer, you’re going to want your car to handle really well, so we’re just going to focus on that. We don’t get practice and we only get a lap or two for qualifying, so it’s really going to be about how we qualify and how the car unloads for us.”

Does the fact that this weekend’s race is a night race change anything from a driver perspective?

“As a driver, I just hope the track loses some grip for us. With the track being superspeedway-style racing, evertything is happening so fast and it’s a unique track layout. The track is just going to continue to change throughout the race. It’s definitely a superspeedway and we can really capitalize on that, but we have to be smart, too. We didn’t get the opportunity to do some of the drafting because of losing the cylinder earlier this season but we know we will have options with the different lanes at this track. It’ll be interesting but I’m looking forward to it.”

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