By: Ashley McCubbin
Although Ryan Preece is proving he can get the job done behind the wheel of a stock car, his original proof of talent takes you back to open-wheel asphalt modified competition. It’s why he plans on running a bunch of those events this year, in-between the Cup Series races.
“It’s really just the racing I’m from. If I had sprint cars, or late models, or anything available to me, I’d be racing those too,” he told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “Modifieds are just where I’m from. I race for Eddie and Ronnie Partridge, which are the owners I have been with for five or six years now. That’s really why I do it, and I do it because I love racing and I love winning. So that’s what I do outside of the Cup Series to keep racing.
“You guys see Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, some of these other guys doing stuff and this is my sort of version of that. I’m going to down here to Speedweeks and run some races, hopefully win a few, and do that through to the season.”
Although the schedule is not solidified yet beyond New Smyrna Speedway’s World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing, Preece feels running these events is important for motorsports as a whole.
“I’m going to run the modifieds – I plan on it anyway to keep racing with the way the schedule is right now,” he said. “Being a lot of one-day shows, I think in my point of view, for drivers to not only be in the seat but be present at your local race tracks where you came from. So I plan on doing that – being visible and racing.”
He has also exposed others to modified competition, getting one of the best Super Late Model drivers Bubba Pollard behind the wheel at New Smyrna last season. Unfortunately, the debut was cut short as a result of motor issues. However, it is something Preece would love to revisit down the road.
“I’d love to do it,” he commented. “I’ve just gotten to the point where I need to focus on me right now and win races, and one day if I’m lucky enough to make a Cup career last long and have the opportunity to do something like that, I’d love to do it. I just need to focus right now on winning races and putting myself in the best spot possible.”
Trying other forms of motorsports is something that could happen for Preece down the road, too, as he says getting behind the wheel of an asphalt sprint car or Silver Crown car remain on his bucket list.
“Those are things that I’ve always enjoyed watching through the years,” he shared. “I wasn’t from that part of the country so it was a lot more difficult for me to do that type of racing. So, if there’s something that I would love to do, it would probably be in one of those cars or even the night before the 500 in a midget. Those are some pretty sweet race cars.”