Ryan Preece may very well have had the quickest car in the World Series 150 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Sunday.
The No. 6 team had to settle for fourth, however, after Preece sensed something was wrong with the ground-pounder and made an unexpected pit stop during the second caution of the afternoon.
“I didn’t pit for a tire,” said Preece. “I thought something was breaking with the left front… Didn’t feel right. I didn’t want to break the car like I did at Oswego and wreck the race car, so we came down. They [the crew] said nothing was wrong, and we put our ‘scuff’ right-side tire on.”
While Preece remained on the lead lap, the damage was done. After leading the opening 83 laps, Preece would never get back to the front, only being able to rally up to the fourth position.
“Just upsetting, because we had a really good race car,” Preece said of the near-miss. “Once you give everybody an opportunity to get tires at the end, it’s just too difficult.”
Still, it felt good for Preece to finally run up front. The laps he led today were the first he had led at Thompson all season.
“For the first time all this year at Thompson, I feel like we had a fast car,” said Preece. “I said to Eddie [Partridge] coming into this race, I said ‘I’m not gonna be tight. I will be loose.’ That was something I felt. I was really good in the first run, but in the second run, something wasn’t right. Just wanted to win, man. Wanted to win.”
Ryan Preece has a couple more modified races left before his first points-paying Cup race, the 2019 Daytona 500. He’ll be partaking in the festivities at New Smyrna in February.
“I will be at New Smyrna for a night or two,” said Preece. “Whatever works around us with the Cup car. I want to run a few races.”
While frustrating to not get the win, Ryan Preece’s time in the modifieds is far from done.