Ryan Preece came into Icebreaker weekend at Thompson Speedway with two goals in mind: to take home the winners’ trophy, and to pay homage to an all-time great quarter-midget racer, Dave Steele. Preece has already done the latter; now it’s time to accomplish the former.
“I think we’ve got a really good car for this weekend. We’ve got a nice mix of both qualifying speed and race speed,” Preece told Short Track Scene. “Once qualifying is done, I think you’ll have a better, or more true, determination of how fast everyone is.”
Preece, the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion, finished second in this race a year ago. With qualifying only an hour before the Icebreaker 150, the Connecticut native has no idea where he’ll start.
“We ran race trim in practice,” said Preece. “There were some guys who ran qualifying trim that may have skewed practice results. We’ll see who’s up front and where we stack up and we’ll go from there.”
But Preece is also running with someone special in mind. On the side of his No. 6 car is a decal honoring Dave Steele, one of the all-time great sprint car racers who was tragically killed in a crash on March 25th in Florida. Preece, like many others in the racing community, was hit hard when he found out about Steele’s death. A win in the Icebreaker with a tribute to Steele on the side of the car would mean a lot to him.
“It would be really cool to go to Victory Lane with the tribute to Dave on the side of the car,” concluded Preece. “I was the biggest Dave Steele fan for many years. When I heard that the decals were being made, there wasn’t any doubt that I was putting one on the car.”