By: Ashley McCubbin
Normally as you head into a race weekend, either the ARCA Racing Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, or NASCAR Xfinity Series kick off the action and become the lead-in for the NASCAR Cup Series to complete everything.
This weekend, the responsibility falls on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, who will be the first to go under the lights on Thursday night. The series’ return to the paperclip has been a long-time coming, and has created a lot of buzz.
“It’s cool,” Ryan Preece told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “Modifieds have a lot of roots and have big roots at Martinsville. So, having them there, I know it’s a really great racing track. I think it’s going to be two grooves for the Modifieds. It’ll probably widen out there, some. And, sharing that stage kind of being that first start to the weekend for all the racing there, is awesome. And being under the lights in all three series will be cool also.”
Preece was one of the competitors who took part in a test prior to the event, utilizing the session as a shakedown.
“I didn’t really need to test,” he added. “It’s more of just a new chassis that we’re running this year in the Modifieds. And I kind of wanted to be one step ahead instead of one step behind. So, I feel really confident with the package we’re bringing and hopefully like I said earlier, we can go there and win the race and bring home a clock.”
The chances of him bringing home a clock are certainly high, as Preece was proven to be a front runner anytime he gets behind the wheel of the modified with 22 trips to victory lane, seven of those occurring in 2017 and 2018.
Though he will not have it easy with series regulars Justin Bonsignore, Doug Coby, and Craig Lutz in the field, along with fellow Cup Series star Ryan Newman – among others.