April 29, 2019
Super Run: Third Place At Talladega Gives Ryan Preece First Monster Energy Cup Podium Finish
A Shawn Courchesne - www.racedayct.com article
Visits to super speedways have proved to be super days this year for NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series rookie Ryan Preece.
The former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion and regular at Stafford Speedway, Thompson Speedway and Riverhead Raceway, scored an eighth place finish in his first Monster Energy Cup Series superspeedway start to kick off his career with JTG Daugherty Motorsports in February at the Daytona 500.
Sunday, in his second superspeedway visit of the season and first Monster Energy Cup Series start at Talladega Superspeedway, Preece scored his first series podium finish.
Preece, of Berlin, took the checkered in third place in the Geico 500 Saturday at Talladega.
It was a 1-2-3 finish for Chevy drivers with Chase Elliott winning the event and Alex Bowman finishing second.
“It was awesome,” Preece said. “I was only here one other time and that was with the XFINITY [Series] car in 2016 and I was running third with three [laps] to go and I went for the sucker hole and got flushed. So I wasn’t going to do that today. Ultimately it was a perfect situation for Chevy there on that [final] restart, being able to line up and push each other and really not give any of the other manufacturers an opportunity to get by us. Great day for Kroger and great day for JTG [Daugherty] and hopefully we can use this momentum moving forward.”
Before Sunday Preece’s best Monster Energy Cup Series finish in 15 career starts was his eighth place at Daytona earlier this season.
One the final restart of the day, Preece lined up behind Elliott and Bowman and they rode their line to the front of the pack. The race ended under caution after a wreck on the backstretch after Elliott had taken the white flag.
“It was a really crazy day, well‑executed day on the Chevrolet teams’ behalf,” Chase Elliott said. “Proud of that effort.”
Preece talked after the race about importance of Chevy teams working together at the end.
“You have your practice and qualifying and you really don’t know what you’re going to have until the race,” Preece said. “We started out the race and we were really really loose and the plan was to just ride around until about 50 to go. … We got ourselves in position to have a good day. Then that last restart, honestly, we were in as good of a position as you could be.
“There was a meeting earlier in the day [Saturday] with Chevy about working with other Chevy’s. That last restart really couldn’t have worked out any better for everybody with Chevy because we were all committed to pushing one another. I’m just happy that was the case and I wasn’t the odd man out there. … It felt good those last three or four laps knowing that I was going to get moved out of the way or shuffled. And ultimately we were able to keep everybody in line and it was a great day.
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