Ryan Preece was making his first-career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start in Friday night’s Rackley Roofing 200 at Nashville Superspeedway, but he wasted no time getting acclimated to the No. 17 David Gilliland Racing Ford F-150 as he worked his way around Grant Enfinger for the lead, and pulled away to beat Todd Gilliland to the finish line for the win.
Preece, who ran in or around the top-10 virtually the entire race, led the final seven laps of the race. After scoring the Gibson guitar, which is handed out to winners at Nashville Superspeedway, Preece admitted how excited he was to win a race again.
“That was a lot of fun. Pizza and donuts all week, that’s all it was,” An elated Preece stated in victory lane. “Chad [Johnston] man, he just — he did an awesome job calling the race. Great adjustments, awesome car with DGR. This Ford F-150 was pretty stout.”
With his win, Preece becomes just the fifth driver to ever capture victory in their first-ever Truck Series start. Mike Skinner, Robert Pressley, Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman are the other drivers to accomplish the feat.
For Gilliland, the charge to finish second was super impressive. The driver of the No. 38 truck had to start in the rear after issues in inspection. He was also without his crew chief, who was ejected before the race. His father, David Gilliland, filled in as his crew chief for the race.
Gilliland worked his way methodically through the field all race long, and in the closing laps, he had a shot at the win. But coming up one spot shy after his big rally was a little disappointing.
“Tonight, I actually definitely feel like we had the best truck here,” Gilliland explains. “It stings not to get that last spot, especially because I was under the 17 at one point, but just got too loose. So, that’s racing. That’s what they say. We’ll move on.”
Enfinger held on to finish third, Zane Smith came home fourth and Stewart Friesen finished fifth.
Matt Crafton, Ben Rhodes, Ty Majeski, Austin Hill and John Hunter Nemechek rounded out the top-10 finishers in Friday’s race.
Derek Kraus led a career-best 48 laps, and he won Stage 1 of the race. However, Kraus saw his night end on lap 110 when he made contact with Josh Berry.