Ryan Preece and Stewart-Haas Racing have gained the support of The International Union of Operating Engineers, the organization announced Tuesday.
The red, white, and blue colors of the union will be displayed on Preece’s NASCAR Cup Series entry for the first time on Memorial Day Weekend, as the series tackle’s the Chicago Street Course for the first time.
The IUOE, which primarily represents operating engineers who work as heavy equipment operators, mechanics, pipeliners and surveyors in the construction industry, will serve as a two-race primary sponsor of the No. 41 Ford Mustang.
“We are excited to introduce more folks to the Operating Engineers through our partnership with Stewart-Haas Racing and the No. 41 team,” said IUOE General President James T. Callahan. “Our members go to work every day building and maintaining the infrastructure that keeps America moving, and we are looking for other hardworking men and women to join our team and jumpstart their career with the Operating Engineers.”
Also represented within the overlay of the IUOE are stationary engineers working in operations and maintenance in building and industrial complexes, and in the service industries
Following the July debut of the partnership, the IUOE will accompany Preece on the high-banked short track of Bristol Motor Speedway in September.
“I have a great appreciation for hard work and what it takes to put in the effort, day in and day out, to ensure the job is done right and done safely,” said Preece, a native of Berlin, Connecticut. “The IUOE helps ensure that its members are properly trained on the latest equipment and are up to date on all the right protocols to work in a safe and efficient manner.
“That’s what we do in racing. We perform at the highest level, with the highest level of safety and preparation, 38 weekends a year. There’s no room for complacency. What we do in NASCAR is what the IUOE instills in its members.”
Preece, who returned to the NASCAR Cup Series this season with Stewart-Haas Racing, experienced the IUOE’s commitment to its members firsthand, when he visited the IUOE International Training & Education Center in Crosby, Texas, earlier this year.
“The resources available at the International Training & Education Center were impressive,” Preece said. “The crane field alone, where they have more than 15 different cranes that allow instructors to create real-world scenarios, was larger than life. And their sim rooms were just as high-tech as the sim we use to get ready for races. They not only work on your mind at the International Training & Education Center but your body too, with a full fitness center and complete dining facilities.
“It’s great that we can use the IUOE’s races with Stewart-Haas Racing to help tell their story and showcase all that the IUOE has to offer.”
Preece’s return to NASCAR’s top level has been hit or miss this season, one of three drivers to not score a top-10 finish through the opening 16 events of the campaign. However, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver has put together some solid runs as of late, scoring three top-15s in the last four races.