Thursday, Aug 18

Ford Performance NASCAR: Preece Repeats Nashville NCWTS Win (FULL PACKAGE)

RYAN PREECE, No. 17 Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford F-150 – YOU SAT ON THE POLE AND LED A LOT OF LAPS.  WHAT ABOUT THE BATTLE AT THE END?  “I don’t ever like it to be that close, but my hat’s off to DGR and this Hunt Brothers Ford F-150.  I’m really happy.  Scott Hunt and the Hunt Brothers crew and all of them are here tonight for this one.  We’ve got a second guitar.  I may have to start a band.”


YOU ALSO WON THE TRIPLE TRUCK CHALLENGE AND $50,000 – “I like it.  That sounds good.  I just want you guys to know that a lot of this is built in the shop.  These guys work their tails off.  I know what it takes to win races and they give me phenomenal race trucks, so I’m just proud to be the one holding the steering wheel.”


HOW DID THEY GET THAT CLOSE AT THE END?  “Just old tires.  Your heat cycles, they’re chatting, they’re kind of doing everything.  The biggest thing I had was clean air and to put as much dirty air on him as possible.  I wasn’t gonna give it up.”


THAT’S A GOOD WAY TO KICK OFF THE WEEKEND.  “I’d say so.  That’s awesome.  Thank you to Kevin Harvick, KHI Management, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Morton Buildings, United Rentals,, Mohawk Northeast Inc., everybody that’s helped me in my career.  I can’t thank them enough.  I’m just really happy to be standing here in Victory Lane.  I’m speechless.  With these trucks you can get such a draft when you’re five lengths back and I was really struggling being tight, so when I saw Zane was getting the run out front I said I’m going to the bottom to take the air.  I’m proud of these guys.  It’s cool we got a second guitar.”


WHAT ABOUT THE TIRE SITUATION AT THE END.  YOU STAYED OUT.  WHAT WENT INTO THAT DECISION?  “I don’t know and I’m happy I don’t have to make that decision, but, ultimately, I think it just showed that the 38 and myself had such good race trucks tonight.  Even with old tires we were able to compete there, so just super proud of everybody here at DGR.  I really appreciate the hours that they put in with the body and the finesse – every little detail it takes to make speed, so it’s awesome to race fast trucks.”

WHERE DOES THAT BONUS MONEY GO?  “Hopefully to everybody.  Share it around.”



“We just have fast trucks.  Last year, and working with Chad Johnston he’s been a lot of fun to work with and Seth Smith was working here today crew chiefing.  If you look at practices throughout my races, they’ve been less than stellar.  We usually practice 17th-24th and we just keep working towards the combination that I like, so I want to say this was the first week as a team we unloaded really well and we were just able not to screw it up.”


HOW VALUABLE ARE WINS ON THE NATIONAL LEVEL?  “If you look at my national series career with a manufacturer team, I don’t think I’ve ever done a full season with a manufacturer supported team, so it’s nice when you have these opportunities to have all the resources and be able to work on yourself as a driver.  I’m a student of the game on so many different levels when it comes to racing.  I’m from the northeast and I’m pretty hard core as most know.  I enjoy every bit about racing other than driving the race car.  I love working on them.  I like setting them up.  I enjoy so much about the entire sport, the big picture, so I would say when you have these opportunities you have to go win.  There’s no ifs, ands or buts, you have to get the job done.”


WHAT WERE YOU FIGHTING AT THE END?  “Probably tires, more so.  Heat cycles like they do.  There are a lot of things.  The trucks are really draggy, probably under horsepower, so everything is momentum and once your truck is not handling 100 percent, you’ve got to do everything you can to maximize your roll speed and if you struggle that little bit in the draft, once that truck gets the sniff of the track, and I think Zane having those new tires behind him, it’s just propelling him forward and giving him that much more straight line speed.  I saw it with about six to go.  I was happy he didn’t get there any sooner because I knew if he was gonna have one shot we were gonna do our best to hold onto the lead and not give it away and that’s what we did.”


HOW SATISFYING IS IT TO HAVE A SCHEDULE WHERE YOU’RE JUST TROPHY HUNTING?  “Me in my career I trophy hunt.  That’s all I show up for, but in my position I think we all know it takes a lot of partners to make opportunities like this possible.  Fortunately, I have KHI Management in my corner and they put people like Hunt Brothers Pizza and Morton Buildings, and United Rentals is a huge one that came on this year that’s supporting me, so I 100 percent survive.  My racing career is 100 percent dependent on companies and people like that.  I’d love to have a full season with a manufacturer-based team and have opportunities to chase wins week in and week out.  I guess haven’t had that type of situation yet.”


HOW WILL IT BE HAVING TWO GUITARS?  “I guess I’m really gonna have to actually learn how to play.  One thing I do want to say is no disrespect because Tad Geschekter and Jody Geschekter were great, great people.  They gave me three years of a lot of fun, so I do want to say I really appreciate what they’ve done for me and my wife and giving us things we could only dream of – somebody like myself that I grew up in the northeast in Connecticut racing three or four or five days a week – driving however many hours to each track just like a lot of other short track guys do on the dirt race or asphalt race, so it’s nice to be one of the good stories – you get the job done.”


HAS THIS YEAR BEEN MORE FUN THAN LAST YEAR?  “Winning is always fun.  No, for sure.  Racing is as much of a mental sport as anything.  I’m a very confident person.  As you see, I get limited opportunities and I try to do my best to take advantage of them, so I’m having a pretty damn good time.”


IS IT ANY EASIER NOT TO WORRY ABOUT THE FUTURE WHEN YOU’RE HAVING A GOOD TIME?  “I don’t know. My wife probably does more worrying about my future than I do.  I tell her all the time that all I can do is go out and do what I’ve always done my entire career and that’s try to win races.  I’m lucky to have a great support system and a father who has done nothing but teach me to work really hard and to not quit on your dreams.  I might be 31, but in racing years you’re not even close to your peak.”


HOW COMPARATIVE IS THIS TO THE XFINITY RACE TOMORROW?  “You just race the racetrack.  That’s what I was doing tonight with the resin and how it was playing out.  It’s gonna be a totally different race just because it’s gonna be in the middle of the day versus at night, so I don’t think you’re gonna be able to move to the bottom like we all were, but I could be completely wrong and I guess I’m not gonna find out until lap five, but I will say that they’ve brought a great United Rentals No. 5 Ford Mustang and hopefully we can get the job done and I can be talking to you guys here again.”


HOW HAVE YOU BEEN PREPARING FOR THE HEAT THIS WEEKEND?  “I’m a big boy.  I retain water pretty well, so I think I’ll be all right.”


DOES A WIN LIKE THIS BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE?  “Yeah, I think it’s always nice to be able to get that win.  You look back at Vegas or Texas or Charlotte, those are three races where I felt like we had opportunities and things didn’t go our way.  So it was nice not to have a green, white, checker or have one of those situations where I’m clear by 10 and that’s it, but it was nice to be up front and be in control of the race.”


HOW MANY MORE TRUCK RACES DO YOU HAVE?  “I believe my last two will be in Pocono and Kansas.”


DOES THIS MAKE UP FOR CHARLOTTE IN ANY WAY?  “The clock resets at midnight in my eyes.  I’ve been racing a long time and I wear my emotions on my sleeve, but I’m happy we were able to get to victory lane tonight.”


WHAT’S THE BIGGEST THING YOU’VE LEARNED AS A DRIVER THIS YEAR?  “I’ve always been able to be versatile when it comes to driving different race cars.  I’m labeled and I’m completely OK with being labled a modified guy, but I grew up racing open-wheel midgets and micros.  I’ve raced a lot of different race cars and pretty much won in them all, so I do embrace my northeast roots and where I come from and where I’ve really made my mark, but, at the same time, I feel like as a race car driver you need to be able to be good in anything at any time.”


HOW DO YOU LOOK AHEAD WITH LIMITED OPPORTUNITIES THE REST OF THE YEAR?  “If somebody wants to step up and help pay tires and all these other things for me to race my late model or my modified more often, I will, but I’m lucky that I do have supporters that help me race when I’m not racing in the national series, but, like I’ve said, I race for fun and I enjoy it, but I race for winning.  I’m kind of almost looking at my short track schedule as I’ve got to pick bigger money races to go run.  You’ve got to look at it as a business because other things are involved.  At the same time, when I’m not racing in Xfinity or Truck or any of the other stuff I’m at the shop.  I’m working out with the pit crew guys.  I’m in those driver debrief meetings and listening in and trying to be as up-to-date as possible with this Cup car, so if that opportunity ever were to happen that there’s a very slim to none window of learning the car.”


ARE YOU STILL DOING A LOT OF SIM DRIVING?  “I’m busier now than I ever was.  I mean, there’s a lot of days where I’ll get text messages to come in and fill in for people  I’m usually there a couple times a week for quite a few hours, so it’s a good role to have.”


HOW COMFORTABLE ARE YOU WITH THIS CAR?  “I’m really comfortable with it.  Dover was a better run.  I feel like the result didn’t show, but we were really fast and we had great speed and had a pretty good day.  We’re all just learning the car right now.  There are a lot of things that teams are learning and the progression of this car is gonna be really quick.  I think it’s not done.  I don’t even think we’ve scratched the surface on teams figuring things out, so I just want to be a part of that and be there and be ready because I’ve said this in the past, when those opportunities happen, I’m gonna be ready.”

Ford Performance PR


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