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By
Craig Gabriele
       

 

 

Official: Ryan Preece Entering NASCAR Nationwide Series Event in July at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Double-duty is on the docket July 13 for the kid with the big smile and unlimited talent. That kids name is Ryan Preece and he is going to get a big opportunity at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. This kid is a sponsors dream.

http://www.racedayct.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Ryan-Preece-in-Car--300x200.jpg

Ryan Preece                            

Not only will the Berlin, CT driver be competing in his regular NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour ride in the Town Fair Tire 100 he will also be attempting to make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut driving for team owner Tommy Baldwin Jr. in the New England 200 at the 1.058-mile oval.

The official announcement of Preece’s pairing with Tommy Baldwin Racing for the Nationwide Series event at NHMS was made this afternoon.

“Obviously this is a chance of a lifetime,” Preece said. “My parents and I were just talking today, that there are a lot of people out there that deserve a chance and will never get one. So I’m extremely lucky to be given this opportunity.”

Baldwin is a former Whelen Modified Tour crew chief and the son of late Whelen Modified Tour competitor Tom Baldwin Sr.

“I am excited to have Ryan Preece in our No. 8 Nationwide Chevy in New Hampshire,” Baldwin said in a release. “Watching Ryan’s career grow over the years, mixed with my continued support of the Northeast racing community, have all combined to give us this opportunity to put Ryan in the car.”

In addition to running regularly on the Whelen Modified Tour, Preece also competes full-time in the SK Modified divisions at Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson International Speedway and in the Tour Type Modified division at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway.

It’s another in a list of opportunities that have arrived for Preece over the last two weeks.

On June 3, Preece was informed that he was one of 10 finalists that would compete for a possible driver development contract with Michael Waltrip Racing through the Peak Stock Car Dream Challenge driver search.

Preece was one of 13 drivers announced last Friday to be part of the 2013 NASCAR Next program. The NASCAR Next program is an initiative by NASCAR to spotlight rising stars in stock car racing and help mold them for futures at the higher levels of the sport.

Preece said because of the opportunity with Baldwin and the testing he will do with the team prior to the event at NHMS, he will have to back out of the Peak Stock Car Dream Challenge. Testing with Baldwin’s team conflicts with Stock Car Dream Challenge competition, which is scheduled to take place July 9-11 in Charlotte, N.C.

“There’s a lot of thought and decision that went into things,” Preece said. “I felt like with Tommy Baldwin, with all the preparation that’s going into it, I felt like it was something that I needed to do. Sometimes you have tough decisions to make.”

Preece has been competing full-time on the Whelen Modified Tour since 2007. He finished second in the Modified Tour standings in 2009 and 2012. He has five victories and 34 top-five finishes in the division over 83 career starts and sits second in the standings this year after two events.

He was the SK Modified division champion at Stafford in 2011 and currently leads the division’s standings there. He won the SK Modified division title at Thompson in 2012 and is currently third in the standings there.

“It’s big doing it in New Hampshire, not only because it’s close for a lot of people that support me, but because I get the chance to race double duty that weekend,” Preece said. “I’m going to be racing twice in one day. … I think that’s going to be pretty cool. We’ll see if we can make the best of it and have a strong run.”

Preece said the opportunity with Baldwin is not a start and park, that he will be racing.

“Tommy is trying to help me and he wants to see me succeed,” Preece said. “I’m extremely thankful for him taking the chance on me. Hopefully everything goes for the best and we go for a good race.”

Manorville, N.Y. based East West Marine will sponsor Preece’s No. 8 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevy at NHMS.

“Tommy and I had spoken earlier in the year about possibly doing something with Ryan in 2014, but when he called me a couple of weeks ago and presented the opportunity for Ryan to make his Nationwide debut this year, it was an easy decision for us to jump on board and support that,” East West Marine owner Brian Slaga said in a press release.

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

 

       

 

       

 

       
 

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Revised: June 14, 2013