Preece Not Giving Up On Title After Win At Thompson


Adversity might be the best word to describe the season Ryan Preece has had.

Preece was afraid he wouldn’t have a ride before the season started when he told his owner, Ed Partridge, that he’d be missing Langley on May 13 because he was getting married.

While he maintained the ride for this season, it was clear the team would have a deep hole to climb out of if a title was to be won. To make matters worse, Preece wrecked on the first lap of the Icebreaker 150 at Thompson in April, setting the No. 6 team even further back.

“It was tough for Eddie, because he wants to win that championship,” said Preece. “He could’ve fired me on the spot, knowing it being his season that I was missing the race. I’m very lucky to have him and his wife, Eddie and Connie, believing in me to set up that race car, to make sure nothing really falls apart on it, and to drive it.”

Now a husband, Preece found himself standing in Victory Lane for the second time this season Wednesday night at Thompson after fighting through the same thing he’s pushed through all year: adversity.

Despite leading the most laps, Preece’s day was far from smooth. In practice, he had the driveshaft break just a couple laps into his first run.

“I think it was the yoke on the end of the driveshaft,” explained Preece. “It could’ve had a fracture from when I tried to do a burnout and failed… I’m assuming that’s what had to happen because I don’t know, I haven’t ever heard of anybody that has had a driveshaft snap that’s two laps brand-new. That was clearly my fault.”

During the race, Preece got backed up on a pit stop midway through. But he didn’t give up. He thought back to a piece of advice his mother had given him before the season started.

“She said to me, ‘Ryan, you’re not gonna have a perfect car every race, so if it’s close, you need to deal with it and do what you’ve been trained to do your whole life and just drive it,'” recalled Preece. “I kind of live by that motto now and it seems to be working out alright.”

Alright might be an understatement. Preece’s last two starts have resulted in wins, the previous triumph coming in the Spring Sizzler at Stafford. Besides the wreck at the Icebreaker, Preece has finished no worse than fourth. He’s led laps in three of his four starts. The car has the speed to contend. And he’s beginning to close the points gap between himself and the leaders.

Preece came into Thompson 12th in the standings, 66 points behind Timmy Solomito due to the missed race at Langley. With his victory, the 26-year-old jumped to 10th, 54 points out of first. He’s not giving up in the fight for the championship.

“I never think I don’t have a shot,” added Preece. “The way I look at it, it’s as if I finished dead last… Just keep winning races, and if those guys have a bad race, I’ll be right there.”

“I’m just going to be doing everything I can to not have any mechanical failures. I know Eddie gives us everything we need… As long as I don’t have any mechanical failures, and I have a car like I did tonight and like I did at Stafford, I feel like the championship will take care of itself.”

Ryan Preece didn’t take the points lead Wednesday night. But he showed the same speed that won the Spring Sizzler and the speed that will be needed to make up for lost time.



About Paul Lambert

Paul Lambert is an aspiring high school racing journalist. Editor of his school newspaper, Paul's excited to cover the Whelen Modified Tour in 2017. Paul has also been published in Speedway Illustrated.

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