To this point, Ryan Preece’s career in NASCAR’s top-three series has been an adventure, one that has seen the Berlin, Connecticut-native jumping between backmarker teams in the NASCAR Cup Series, to running with Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, all because he elected to take a chance on himself in 2017.
A NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour standout, Preece competed first for Tommy Baldwin Racing in the Xfinity Series in 2013, before jumping to Cup after only three starts in 2015. The following year, it was a full-season of Xfinity for Preece at JD Motorsports, before taking a chance on himself and running four races for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017. Impressive results grew his schedule by a factor of four for the following season, before getting noticed and promoted to the Cup Series with JTG Daugherty Racing, where he has driven in the three seasons since.
With JTG Daugherty Racing announcing the organization would be scaling back down to one entry in 2022, Preece is left on the outside looking in, to which the 30-year-old says is his to look for the next opportunity to go out and win races, like he knows he can.
AUDIO: ICYMI @RyanPreece_ joined @ClaireBLang on #DialedIn and reacted to the news that @JTGRacing will only field one Cup Series entry in 2022: pic.twitter.com/UmDogRyZ6w
— SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) September 2, 2021
“I don’t just race the [NASCAR] Cup Series,” Preece told Claire B Lang on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “Anybody that knows me, knows that I’m working effortlessly, constantly, no matter what it is, racing Modifieds. I’m currently going to be building a Super Late Model to go run the Snowball [Derby] and, I want to be a racer, I want to be one of the best racers.”
For Preece, the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season has had its ups and downs, collecting a single top-five finish in the series’ most recent event at Daytona International Speedway, as well as four top-10 finishes, which is not only a single-season high, but is double the amount of top-10 finishes that teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr has earned this season.
On a more positive note, Preece was able to turn a two-race deal with David Gilliland Racing into a trip to victory lane at Nashville Superspeedway this Summer, while also collecting a top-10 finish in the No. 17 Ford F-150 at Pocono Raceway in his first starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
“So, as far as offers right now, there’s nothing, no not really,” Preece continued. “I’m just waiting for that next opportunity to go out and win races, and it’s not me just talking about it, I’ve proved it over and over again, so hopefully that moment comes sooner than later.”
In terms of potential landing spots for Preece, the culture of the NASCAR Cup Series, and even the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, makes it difficult for a driver without an adequate amount of funding to secure a ride that is capable of winning week after week.
While Preece was able to do it in his two-season tenure at Joe Gibbs Racing, and even his three seasons at JTG-Daugherty Racing, a competitive silly season market in which drivers bring financial support, could make it difficult for Preece to settle into a spot somewhere in NASCAR’s top-three series.