Ryan Preece: Poised for NASCAR Success in 2016
At age 25, stock car racing driver Ryan Preece has built a strong resume. He made his NASCAR debut in 2007 in the Whelen Modified Tour, and has since made 123 starts, earning 15 wins, 55 top-fives, 78 top-tens, and 14 pole awards.
In 2008, Preece became the youngest driver in Whelen Modified Tour history to earn a pole. In 2013, he became the youngest Whelen Modified Tour champion ever.
Preece is now getting ready for his first full season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He’s raced in the Xfinity Series before, having debuted in 2013 and raced two other times. This year, Preece will be driving the No. 01 Chevrolet Camaro for JD Motorsports.
We caught up with Ryan to talk about how he got into racing, his success so far, and what he hopes to accomplish in the future.
You were raised in Berlin, Connecticut – not what most people think of as NASCAR country. What sparked your interest in racing?
Preece: Racing is really popular throughout the whole country now. But there’s a type of racecar called a modified that came out of the northeast, and that is something I grew up around. Also, both my mother and father raced locally, so it’s also been a family thing.
Who were your favorite drivers growing up?
Preece: Everybody would say Dale Earnhardt was one of their favorite drivers. Tony Stewart was for me as well, and as a teenager Kevin Harvick was one of the guys I always rooted for.
When did you start to think seriously about a career in racing?
Preece: I think every kid dreams about it – when I started trying to make it a reality I was 18 or 19 years old. When you are fighting to try and get there it isn’t easy, but it’s all worth it.
What has been your career highlight so far?
Preece: There have been a lot of races I am pretty happy about winning over the past few years, but I’d say winning the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Championship in 2013.
What’s the most difficult or challenging part of being a NASCAR driver that some fans may not know about?
Preece: Money is what buys speed for these kinds of cars. If you want to have everything you need to win, you’re going to need sponsorship and backing. When you have that, you can get good motors and chassis and it makes the whole team better. That’s why I joined JD Motorsports. They have a program that works great for everybody.
What is your biggest goal for the future?
Preece: I’d like to be top 15 week in and week out, but I also want to contend for wins and top 10s, and I think if the right circumstances come along and we can get that bigger backing, this team is capable of doing that.
Do Loctite® products play a part in your success?
Oh, yes. The products are a part of our regular maintenance on the car. It’s what you use to make sure your bolts don’t come apart!
How can fans follow you this season?
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