March 18, 2017
Solomito Charges Late For Myrtle Beach Win; Ryan Preece Earns Hard Fought Top 5 Finish In Season Opener
A NASCARHomeTracks.com release with Ryan Preece Racing headline addition
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – One year ago, Timmy Solomito captured his first career NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour victory in the season-opening Icebreaker at Connecticut's Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
Fast-forward a year later, the Islip, New York, driver was celebrating a victory in the season-opening race once again. This time, the win came in South Carolina.
Solomito captured the win in the Performance Plus 150 presented by Safety-Kleen on Saturday at another historic venue, the half-mile Myrtle Beach Speedway, and became the first winner on the newly formed unified Whelen Modified Tour.
Solomito's No. 16 Starrett Tools Ford took the lead for the final time following a late-race caution that setup the final restart and held off Rob Summers on a green-white-checkered finish to take down the victory. The win was Solomito’s fifth career on the tour after his breakout 2016.
“My team did a great job,” said Solomito. “We knew we had to ride and save our stuff as much as possible for the end of the race. I knew the last five laps we had to run as hard as possible and my team gave me a car good enough to do that.”
Rob Summers, who scored his first Coors Light Pole Award since 2001 earlier in the day, led a race-high 72 laps but came up just short of the victory with a second place finish behind the wheel of his No. 64 Fastrock Electric Chevrolet.
Andy Seuss made a late charge to finish third after spinning just after the halfway point. Ryan Preece was also able to climb to the front late and finish fourth, with Max Zachem rounding out the top five.
Justin Bonsignore was sixth, followed by Rowan Pennink – who led 38 laps – Woody Pitkat, Les Hinckley III and Burt Myers.
The race was slowed by eight cautions, with four coming in the final 30 laps, including one on Lap 145 and a subsequent one on Lap 148 that winnowed the field and took out several contenders. The final yellow pushed the race to 155 laps.
In the offseason, NASCAR unified the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour into one tour that stretches from New Hampshire to South Carolina.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour returns to the track at Thompson for the Icebreaker 150 on Sunday, April 2.
February 25th, 2017
Ryan Preece Wins New Smyrna Modified Title; Matt Hirschman Closes Series With Victory
A www.racedayct.com article
For the third consecutive Ryan Preece will bring the champion’s hardware back to Connecticut from New Smyrna, Fla.
Preece, of Berlin, finished fourth in Friday’s Richie Evans Memorial 100 for the Tour Type Modified division at the World Series of Asphalt Racing at New Smyrna Speedway to capture his third consecutive championship in the division.
Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa. won Friday’s final event of the week for the Tour Type Modified division at New Smyrna.
The division ran four events from Monday to Friday. JR Bertuccio won the opener on Monday with Tyler Rypkema winning on Tuesday. Wednesday’s event was rained out. Preece won Thursday’s race.
Ron Silk of Norwalk was second Tuesday and Jon McKennedy of Marshfield, Mass. third.
February 24th, 2017
Preece Holds Off Hirschman for Blewett Memorial Win
A www.speed51.com article
Ron Silk led a majority of the 2017 running of the John Blewett III Memorial 76, but it was the Ryan Preece and Matt Hirschman show near the conclusion at New Smyrna Speedway (FL) Thursday night.
On the final restart with 13 laps remaining, Silk, a former winner of the annual event, was able to get the advantage. Nevertheless, Preece did not give up and drove his Tour-Type Modified in deep into turn three. The 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion made it stick and led at the line and the rest of the way for his first win during the 51st Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing.
“I was definitely saving early on, probably around lap 35 or 40 when Ronnie was running hard and I was running hard, I started to go,” Preece told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I felt I was better on restarts. I’m still learning myself with adjustments I need to do with this race car, and I feel like I’m getting better with these long distances finding what I need in the race car.”
Preece was not in the clear just yet in his Ed and Connie Partridge-owned No. 6 ride, as Matt Hirschman was hot on his tail with Silk still ready to pounce behind them as well.
“I think everybody knows that Matt always has good forward drive there at the end,” Preece mentioned. “My thing was to try to roll the center the best that I could do and those laps were feeling pretty long. I felt like I was trying to keep the momentum going, trying not to stop in the center.”
Hirschman made every effort, a few nights after the two accomplished drivers collided at Bronson Speedway. The culprit for coming up one position short for the Northampton, Pennsylvania driver and the PeeDee Motorsports team could have partially been mechanical and something potentially critical.
“We were right there contending,” Hirschman said. “I don’t like to sound like I’m making excuses, but the right front tire was falling off the car. It was knocking the brake pads away from the rotor down the straightaway so when it got to the corner I didn’t have the brake I needed to have.”
“We were beating ourselves there and I’m not saying that was the difference of getting him or not, but you can’t make mistakes like that and expect to win races. It hurt our chances in the end.”
Silk held on for third over the closing laps, but the Danny Watts-owned No. 82 machine began to slightly fade when it came to having a car capable of winning once the caution came out when Jeremy Gerstner spun in front of the leaders.
“I think without that last yellow I would have been alright and easily just scoot away a little bit, but it just got too loose,” Silk admitted. “On the last restart I went into one and two and it drove in really good like it did all night, and I just started feeding it the throttle and it jumped loose sideways on me.”
“Didn’t have enough forward drive at the end, but it’s a new car for us and a new design and really just trying to figure it out. Made some big gains on it tonight and will try some more for tomorrow.”
Friday night will feature another marquee Modified event, the annual Richie Evans Memorial 100 for the impressive field of ground pounders on hand this week.
But tonight, it was all about the memory of a talented racer, which meant a great deal to the night’s winner.
“I have a pretty good relationship with Jimmy Blewett and John was somebody that I always idolized,” Preece said. “I didn’t get to talk to him much, but when you’re sitting back from a distance and you see how hard of a worker John really was and how good of a setup guy he was; when I was probably 17 years old I kind of idolized him. To win a name in his honor, we won a race in Richie Evans honor; I just want to keep on winning races and put my name in the history books. That’s really what I want to do.”
For on demand coverage of Thursday’s racing, visit Speed51.com’s Trackside Now coverage presented by Troyer Race Cars and AR Bodies.
January 28th, 2017
Preece Focused On Modified Return & Pursuit Of Second Title
A www.racechaseronline.com article
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Standing beside his No. 6 TS Haulers TQ-Midget in the pit area before the Gambler’s Classic at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on Friday, former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ryan Preece was able to reflect on his recent opportunities in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
Preece, from Berlin, Conn., has competed in 41 NASCAR national series events over the past three seasons, including five races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2015.
Most recently, Preece contested a full-time campaign with JD Motorsports in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, recording a top-10 finish at Darlington Speedway but missing the postseason Chase Grid by a scant few points.
Despite a successful first season in the No. 01 Chevrolet for Johnny Davis, Preece announced a few weeks after the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway that he would be returning to his roots in the modifieds for this season and forgoing another NASCAR national series slate.
“I am definitely excited to be heading back to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour this season,” Preece said. “We are working extremely hard this offseason to have a strong upcoming season in the modifieds. Hopefully, we can win a lot of races and eventually the championship.”
For this season, the 2013 Whelen Modified Tour champion will again be piloting a modified under Eddie and Connie Partridge. During his previous full-time stint with the team (in 2015), Preece recorded four victories en route to a second place finish in the championship standings.
Additionally, along with his commitments in the XFINITY Series, Preece competed in modified races with the Partridges last season — finishing as a runner-up twice in eight events.
However, this season will be quite different from Preece’s previous campaigns in the modified ranks.
He, like the other northern competitors, will be faced with new challenges at southern tracks after NASCAR announced the Southern Modified Tour would be combining with the northern Modified Tour to form one collective series.
With that change, there will now be the addition of four southern tracks to the schedule, something that Preece believes will impact the championship battle.
“I have raced with most of the southern drivers quite often,” Preece explained. “I sorta have an idea of how the southern races will play out, just because I have raced there a couple times. But, I definitely think it will be tougher for the northern drivers that have not competed on rough tracks, like the ones in the south.”
Preece, 26, does not have immediate plans to return to the NASCAR national ranks. For the moment, he is focused on delivering a championship to the Partridges and earning his second modified title.
“Right now, there is not much for me as far as racing in the NASCAR national series this season,” Preece expressed. “I am really focused on the modifieds and bringing home a championship. But we will see how it goes.”
Even though his NASCAR national career might be on hold, Preece is still eager to perform and flourish in different motorsports venues — starting with this weekend’s Gambler’s Classic in a three-quarter (TQ) midget.
“It is really cool to be here,” Preece said. “I love racing these midgets. This is a lot of fun racing. I think if you talk to a lot of guys that run higher series, we all agree it is always fun to come back to these midgets.”
Preece will kick off his championship chase during the season-opening NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event on March 18 at South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach Speedway.