Ryan Preece has been hired as the official reserve driver for Stewart-Haas Racing, the organization announced on Thursday Morning.
The 31-year-old, who competed full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series for JTG Daugherty Racing last season, will perform simulator duties for the organization while running a mixed schedule of events across NASCAR’s National Series. Furthermore, Preece will be the default driver if any of SHR’s drivers are unable to compete due to unforeseen circumstances.
“Ryan is a versatile wheelman with a racer’s mentality who fits extremely well within our culture at Stewart-Haas Racing,” said Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition, SHR. “Between the amount of testing and development work we’re doing with the NextGen car this year, his added insights and time in the simulator will make us better by allowing us to learn faster.
“Plus, we’re still dealing with COVID. As much as we all want it to be over, it’s not. We needed a more robust plan in the event COVID sidelines one of our drivers. We have that now with Ryan.”
Preece is scheduled to compete in 12 events in 2022 – two in Cup, three in Xfinity, and seven in Trucks. His races in the top-two series will be in coordination with Stewart-Haas Racing and its technical partners. His truck series starts will come with David Gilliland Racing in the No. 17.
“This is a unique setup, but I feel like it provides me with the best opportunity to win races and contribute to a championship-caliber team while expanding my racing experience,” said Preece, who spent the last three seasons (2019-2021) competing full-time in Cup. “I’m a racer, and Stewart-Haas Racing is a team built by racers. They measure success by wins. Whether I’m in the simulator, in one of their cars, or in a Ford Mustang or Ford F-150 for another team, I’m here to help SHR and Ford win.”
The Berlin, Connecticut-native will compete in the NASCAR Cup Series at Dover (May 1) and Charlotte (May 29), while running his three NASCAR Xfinity Series events at Richmond (April 2), Charlotte (May 28), and Nashville (June 25).
Preece’s seven-race schedule in the No. 17 Ford F-150 will begin at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (March 4), and continue at Atlanta (March 19), Darlington Raceway (May 20), Texas Motor Speedway (June 24), Nashville Superspeedway (June 24), Pocono Raceway (July 23), and Kansas Speedway (September 9).
In two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts for David Gilliland Racing last year, Preece scored a pair of top-10s, including a trip to victory lane at Nashville Superspeedway.