A year ago, Ryan Preece was behind the wheel of the No. 01 JD Motorsports Xfinity Series ride averaging a 23rd place start and finish.
On Saturday, after his second race in the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) No. 20, Preece can call himself a NASCAR Xfinity Series winner.
Ryan Preece’s move to JGR pays off, earns first career Xfinity win at Iowa
“[Last season with JD Motorsports, I] never really got anybody talking,” Preece said. “I wasn’t happy. I’m not a racer to just be out there. I’m a racer to compete right here, to get those trophies and be remembered from the sport.”
The 26-year old lead 144 laps en-route to his first victory in one of the top three NASCAR series, as he tries to be remembered, and it’s all thanks to his move to JGR.
Preece got a text Kevin Manion telling him that Daniel Suarez – who was previously in the No. 20 – was moving up to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series to take the place of a retired Carl Edwards.
Manion told him to call Steve De Souza – the Vice President of Xfinity Series development racing at JGR.
“I knew what I felt I had to do to get attention and to make noise,” Preece said. “These two races were the shot.”
He left a voicemail.
“He could have listened to that voicemail and said ah, ‘you know what he probably doesn’t have money,’ or stuff like that,” Preece said. “Well, he didn’t. He called me back and told me what we needed to do to make it happen. I worked hard on my end to do everything I needed to do to get in the car and secure sponsorship.”
Thanks to his hard work, the 26-year old lead 144 laps in route to his first victory in one of the top three NASCAR series.
“I’m just really fortunate to have people that are willing to help me. We had local companies… that were willing to spend a lot of money to be in this race car.
Preece beat out his teammate Kyle Benjamin and a coming-out-of retirement Brian Scott for the podium.
“It was a great opportunity,” Scott said. “It was fun to be pretty relaxed and not worry about points.”
The series returns to action next Saturday as they take to New York and try to conquer Watkins Glen.
U.S. Cellular 250 Top 20
1. Ryan Preece
2. Kyle Benjamin
3. Brian Scott
4. Brennan Poole
5. Cole Custer
6. J.J. Yeley
7. Daniel Hemric
8. Blake Koch
9. William Byron
10. Brandon Jones
11. Brett Moffitt
12. Elliott Sadler
13. Brendan Gaughan
14. Ryan Sieg
15. Harrison Rhodes
16. Ty Majeski
17. Dakoda Armstrong
18. Ross Chastain
19. Matt Tifft
20. Justin Allgaier
|NASCAR Xfinity Series Unofficial Playoff Standings|