February 16th, 2018
Ryan Preece Wins Evans/Christopher 100; Matt Hirschman Grabs New Smyrna World Series Tour Type Mod Title
A www.racedayct.com article
A roller coaster week of racing in Florida ended on a high note Friday for Ryan Preece.
Preece, of Berlin, drove away from the field over the closing laps to win the Richie Evans/Ted Christopher Memorial 100 on the final night of Tour Type Modified racing at the 52nd World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing.
“To win this race is a big deal because it’s named after Teddy and it’s name after Richie,” Preece said. “Teddy was somebody that I’ve raced with. He’s never given me an inch and he’s pushed me to be the race I am today. To win this race down here where he used to come – this was his playground – so to win here for this 100-lapper with his name and Richie’s name, it means a lot to me. And obviously I finished the race, so that’s even better.”
Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa. was second and Timmy Solomito of Islip, N.Y. third.
It was the second victory in five events at New Smyrna since Monday for Preece, who was the only repeat winner of the week. Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, Mass. won on opening night Monday. Preece won Tuesday. Hirschman won the John Blewett III Memorial 76 on Wednesday. Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y. won Thursday’s event.
It was the third time in four years that Preece has won the Richie Evans/Ted Christopher Memorial event at New Smyrna.
Preece took the lead from Hirschman on a lap 65 restart and never trailed again.
“I was a little nervous with about 10 [laps] to go,” Preece said. “The car really started to free up, had a twitch. But apparently [Hirschman] must have been loosening up or tightening up too.”
Hirschman, who also won Saturday’s Tour Type Modified event at Bronson Speedway in Archer, Fla, clinched his first Tour Type Modified division championship at the World Series.
Hirschman was fourth on Monday, second on Tuesday and fourth on Thursday. Hirschman came into the final night of racing leading Emerling by one point in the standings. Emerling’s night was plagued by two wrecks.
“We had a good week and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Hirschman said. “All the times we’ve come down here I’ve never really left here satisfied with the week we’ve had and I’m still a little disappointed in what we had. We had a good solid week. We won a couple. We did some things that we never did before. Checked some things off the list. … It would have been a lot more fun to race with Ryan for the win. I need to do better. I didn’t have the focus on the things I needed to have I think to get it done and stay on top of it all week. I always say that the Turkey Derby is the hardest day of the year for racing. … But this is by far the hardest thing to do, the week-long racing here at New Smyrna. It’s an experience for sure.”
February 13th, 2018
Redemption Night: Ryan Preece Bounces Back For Tour Type Modified Victory At New Smyrna
A www.racedayct.com article
Florida in February for those from Connecticut is supposed to be about happy moments and good times.
But there’s been little sunny about the Sunshine State the past few days for Berlin’s Ryan Preece.
But Tuesday night at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing Preece righted all the wrongs.
Preece led from lap 14 on and pulled away from Matt Hirschman over the closing stages to win the 35-lap Tour Type Modified feature Tuesday at New Smyrna Speedway.
“When you beat that guy right there … that’s saying something,” Preece said of Hirschman, who won Saturday’s Tour Type Modified event at Bronson Speedway. “All these guys behind me, they’ve been working their butts off all week. We haven’t made it easy on them. … It’s just awesome. This is definitely the way I wanted to start [Monday]. But to be able to do it the next day, that’s a little bit more sweeter.”
Preece’s Florida week began with a wild wreck in practice at Bronson Speedway on Saturday. Monday, in the first night of Tour Type Modified action at New Smyrna, Preece led most of the way in the 50-lap feature before a mechanical failure ended his night late.
“We’ve done our homework,” Preece said. “… I don’t want any luck. I want to make my own way to victory lane and ultimately we started fourth, we got holes, we got some breaks, but we earned our way here. That crew right there is the one who earned our way here.”
Hirschman, of Northampton, Pa., was second and Jimmy Blewett of Howell, N.J. third.
Preece went by Hirschman for the lead on lap 14 and never trailed again.
“I knew I had a really good car,” Preece said. “[Hirschman] was better than me in some places but I was better than him in a few places. Ultimately, the hole opened up, I got a good enough run, got under him and once I got in front we were just kind of there even and then we were just able to inch away, inch away, inch away. We had a good enough car for 35 laps.”
Said Hirschman: “I just need to get a little bit better. … Bottom line is we just need to be better. The car is not quite to me liking. We still were the class of the field with Ryan and I, but we’ve got room to improve for sure.”
Jon McKennedy of Chelmsford, Mass., scored victory on the opening night of Modified racing at the World Series on Monday.
November 15th, 2017
2018 NASCAR XFINITY SERIES DRIVER AND CREW CHIEF LINEUP
Joe Gibbs Racing Press Release
Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announces today its driver and crew chief lineup for 2018 in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The lineup will feature Christopher Bell, Brandon Jones, Ryan Preece and an all-star lineup of current Monster Energy Cup Series drivers.
JGR announced last month that Christopher Bell would compete fulltime in the XFINITY Series next season. Since that time, he earned his first victory in the Series at Kansas Speedway on October 21. He will pilot the No. 20 Toyota Camry with Jason Ratcliff serving as the team’s crew chief. Ratcliff is currently the crew chief for JGR’s No. 20 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team.
Joining Bell fulltime next season will be Brandon Jones behind the wheel of the No. 19 Toyota Camry for JGR. Chris Gabehart will handle the crew chief duties for the team in 2018.
In addition, JGR announces that Ryan Preece will return to drive a partial schedule behind the wheel of the No. 18 Toyota Camry, with Eric Phillips serving as crew chief. Preece competed in three races for JGR this season and earned a top-five finish in each, including his first-career win at Iowa Speedway. He will also be behind the wheel of the No. 18 this weekend in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“Our NASCAR XFINITY Series program is so important to us at Joe Gibbs Racing,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “We are focused on the opportunities we have this weekend in Miami of course, but excited about the talented lineup of drivers we will have competing for us in 2018. The addition of Brandon Jones to our lineup will provide tremendous competition to the Series and give us two opportunities to run for the XFINITY Driver’s Championship, as well as the Owner’s Championship next season. For as young as he is, Brandon has gained a lot of experience across several different series and we are excited to see what he can do in our equipment and with Chris (Gabehart) leading that team.
“We’re proud of our crew chiefs in that series as well,” added Gibbs. “Jason (Ratcliff) is someone we obviously have a lot of confidence in having had great success for us in both the XFINITY and Cup Series. Having Chris (Gabehart) and Eric (Phillips) back gives us proven winners atop each pit box. We believe their experience and ability to work together will really help the development of our young drivers and help our veterans compete for wins each weekend.”
Jones has spent the past two seasons driving in the XFINITY Series. He has also competed in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), K&N Pro Series East, and ARCA this season. Over the course of his young career he has built an impressive resume of accomplishments which includes making the Chase in his NASCAR XFINITY Series rookie season (2016), compiling four second-place finishes in NCWTS and picking up a win in the K&N Pro Series (Iowa). He also has four ARCA Series wins, including two consecutive wins at Michigan, and was the first driver in ARCA history to win their first two races.
“I’m really fortunate to have gotten as much experience as I have to this point of my career and very thankful to have worked with so many great people and teams over the past several years,” said Jones. “When you look at what JGR has done with Toyota in the XFINITY Series over the past decade the results speak for themselves and I’m excited to go out next season knowing I have an opportunity to be successful each and every week.”
Preece has made three starts in the XFINITY Series for JGR this season and has earned one win, a second and a fourth-place finish. He will be driving JGR’s No. 18 entry on Saturday looking to earn the organization’s fifth Series owner’s Championship. The 26-year-old Berlin, Connecticut native is a very accomplished short-track racer with 20 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) career victories, 70 top-five and 96 top-10 finishes. He was crowned the 2013 season champion.
“Obviously I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunities that I have already had with JGR this season and now to be able to increase the number of races next season is a great step in my career,” said Preece. “I’m looking forward to going out there and make the most out of the opportunity.”
Preece will share JGR’s third XFINITY Series entry with the organization’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers. Kyle Busch, the all-time leader in XFINITY Series wins with 91, is expected to run seven races in 2018, while Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, Daniel Suárez and others will fill out the remaining races.