• Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

Countdown to the Clash: Journeyman Ryan Preece back in the Cup Series

ByEvan McNelia

Dec 26, 2022
Ryan Preece greets the crowd

After only racing in two Cup races in 2022, Ryan Preece is back in the Cup Series full-time, driving the No. 41 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing. Preece is joining his 24th different team across five NASCAR series. 

Preece has run the majority of his career in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Series, having appeared in a race every season since his debut in 2007. He has run nine full seasons, racing in 170 races with 25 total wins. He has placed second overall in the series four times and won the Championship in 2013. He also owns three career wins in the Whelen Southern Tour. 

He has dominated Stafford Motor Speedway notching nine Whelen wins at the legendary modified track. He also won the 2011 SK Modified Series Championship, a series held and originated at Stafford. His future-wife Heather, who he met at the track in 2009, won Rookie of the Year honors in the SK series the same year. Overall, Preece has 25 victories at Stafford, the 6th-most in the history of the track.

Preece has also run five ARCA races (K&N Pro Series at the time) and has run one full-time Xfinity season and six part-time seasons across five different teams. Preece has two Xfinity wins, the first at Iowa in 2017 and the second at Bristol in 2018.

Preece last ran full-time in the Cup series in 2021 with JTG Daugherty Racing in the unchartered No. 37 Chevy after Ricky Stenhouse Jr. took over the No. 47 in 2020. 

In three full-time cup seasons, Preece recorded 9 top-10s and two top-fives. His best career Cup race to this point was a third-place finish at Talladega his rookie year in 2019 while driving the No. 47 for JTG Daugherty. His rookie season was also his best finish in the standings, placing 26th

He made his Cup debut in 2015, driving in five races for Premium Motorsports. His best finish that season was 32nd at New Hampshire. Last season he ran two races in the No. 15 Cup car for Rick Ware Racing. His best finish was 25th at Dover. 

Preece ran a part-time Truck Series schedule in 2022, driving the No. 17 Ford for David Gilliland Racing after making his debut the year before. In his first Truck race, Preece took first place at Nashville Super Speedway, he followed it up with a top-10 finish at Pocono the following week in his only two races of the season. 

He ran 10 of 23 Truck races in 2022, recording nine top-10s, seven top-5s and another Nashville victory. He placed 18th in the point standings despite his part-time status.

Preece is taking over the No. 41 car from Cole Custer who has struggled in back-to-back seasons following his Rookie of the Year campaign in 2020. He placed 16th in his debut full-time Cup season but has placed 26th and 25th in the last two years. Custer did not finish in seven races last season, the most DNFs in a season in his three full Cup seasons.

Having the opportunity to get back into a full-time Cup ride in 2023, the 32-year-old will be looking to bring the consistency he found in the Truck series last season to Stewart-Haas racing in 2022. Preece will have his first crack at the Coliseum track 41 days from now at the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum.