The short track racer took out a loan in 2017 to buy two races with Joe Gibbs Racing
Between 2013 and 2014, Preece made 3 starts with Tommy Baldwin Racing and came up with a best finish of 14th. In 2016, he returned with a full-time ride for JD Motorsports. He cracked the top ten at Darlington. That was a great accomplishment but he needed more. Specifically, he needed better equipment.
Ryan Preece went all in and then some in 2017 when he purchased a temporary ride with Joe Gibbs Racing. To get that ride, he took out a loan from a close friend and a fellow short track race team owner.
Those races were New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Iowa Speedway. Preece finished 2nd at New Hampshire. The very next weekend, he went to victory lane at Iowa Speedway.
This year, he’s running a part-time schedule for Joe Gibbs Racing as a paid driver. His 5th place finish at Texas Motor Speedway last week qualified him for the Xfinity Dash for Cash. Yesterday, Ryan Preece won at Bristol Motor Speedway and took home the $100,000 bonus.
“I know what it’s going to do with my life. I can officially say that I’m going to be paid off with everything that I risked last year,” Ryan Preece stated from the Bristol Motor Speedway media center.
“It means the world. We have been gaining on it every time that I’ve strapped in this race car. Without these two crew chiefs, without these teams, without Joe Gibbs Racing and the equipment that they give you to go out there — That risk wouldn’t have came true.”
“It’s Bristol. It’s one of those tracks, when you grow up as a short track racer, you wanna win at. Last year, going to Iowa I was thinking that if I had a shot to win, it was going to be New Hampshire. We won at Iowa.”
As far as this one ranking… I got a new TV, I got a sword and a really cool trophy. I’m gunna say it’s pretty cool.”
Is this going to be a cycle?
“I don’t advise many people to do what I did. Let’s just put it that way.”
“When I raced against these guys, I saw these cars. I consider myself someone who understands kinda how race cars work. But, when I go race a modified I’m very well capable of giving myself a winning race car.”
“When I see their cars go around the track and I see how hard they work and the program they put together. I said, ‘Man, I need help.’ And Luckily, I had enough help.”
“It was a very close friend of mine and a racing owner of mine that stepped in and let me borrow the money from them. I’ve been slowly paying them back. And it’s going to feel good to be debt free because it doesn’t feel good. It’s like having a mortgage over your head.”
But, it’s a little more stressful than that. Preece purchased two races with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017. When you’re done paying the mortgage, you’re now the proud owner of a house. None of that applies here. Unless you win a $100,000 bonus the following season.
“It’s gratifying to know that when I leave here and essentially get paid. I am going to be debt free. I’m going to have the normal worries that everybody else has. Which is a mortgage, car payments, insurance and typical things like that.”
Preece plans to head to Joe Gibbs Racing for the debrief. After that, he’s back to work.
“I’m going to go to work just like everybody else. I’m gunna go work on race cars which is a dream come true. I’m gunna get my hands dirty. I’m not gunna be sittin’ around.”
“My father has been a huge inspiration to me. He’s a hard worker. Without my parents, none of this would be possible. I wouldn’t have the work ethic that I have today.”
What would have happened? Would Preece be forced to stop racing to pay off his debt?
“I don’t know. I probably would have gotten to that point by the end of the year. I would have paid them back. Through my racing with the Xfinity Series. I wasn’t too worried.”
“But, that wasn’t a thought last year when I stepped into this car. My only thought was, how am I going to win this race?”
“I like to make my own way through in life. Would I advise somebody to do what I did? Probably not. But, it was the only way I was going to get a chance. I wanted that chance and it all worked out.”
“I guess, if you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way.”
This is the 3rd win of 2018 for Ryan Preece. The first two came in his modified.
Ryan Preece will not be eligible for the Dash for Cash at Richmond Raceway. He would have qualified if there was an entry. However, the entry had to be submitted earlier in the week.
Ryan Preece has 7 more races in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2018. He’s no longer paying for the rides but he’s also not yet running a full schedule. In between, you’ll find Preece at the short tracks via the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
Ryan Preece: 2018 Xfintiy Races
Daytona International Speedway (July 6), Indianapolis Motor Speedway (September 8), Las Vegas Motor Speedway (September 15), Charlotte Motor Speedway (September 29), Texas Motor Speedway (November 3), ISM Raceway (November 10), Homestead-Miami Speedway (November 17)