Preece discusses the bump and run ahead of Martinsville Speedway
Ryan Preece literally gambled his house for a NASCAR career. It worked. This year, he has full-time ride with JTG Daugherty Racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Today, Preece will make his 11th career start in the series. It comes on the 0.526-mile of Martinsville Speedway, his second trip to the track in this machine.
Preece has visited victory lane at the Martinsville short track in the past. He won the 2008 Whelen Modified Tour event, leading 265 of the 300 laps.
This afternoon, he’ll start the 500-lap event from the 16th position. He was 20th quick in both practice rounds and 22nd quickest on 10-lap rounds, again in both rounds.
It’s not likely that Preece is sitting in a machine that could win today. But, a top-10 would be equal to a win for his team.
Ryan Preece on short track racing at Martinsville Speedway
Jim Utter: Does it take an adjustment to figure out how much to bump with a different car?
“I’ve never been someone who really wants to put a bumper to someone. I always try to find a way around them without doing that,” Ryan Preece stated during a mid-week teleconference.
“At the end of the day, I think we all just look for respect. You’re going to race somebody, the way they race you.”
“I’m going to full intend on going into the weekend the way I would in the modified. That’s finding a way around without using them up.”
“As long as you’re respectful to others, I believe you get respect back. I don’t fully intend on going there and smashing people.”
More NASCAR short tracks on the way
NASCAR is considering adding more short tracks in the near future. They’re more than looking. To the point, where you could definitively say that there will be an increase in short tracks in the coming years.
Preece is a guy that grew his career by fielding his own open wheel modified on short tracks across the country. Moving to the world of NASCAR brings an entire new type of track to his resume.
“A race car is a race car, they all drive similar. The biggest thing I’ve noticed is aerodynamics. We don’t tend to deal with that in a modified as much as the cup car does.”
“It makes it a little difficult when you’re trying to run a certain line. You focus a lot more on aero balance for a mile and a half. There’s a lot more braking and maneuverability when it comes to short tracks.”
With that said, there’s a lot of talk about replacing some of the bigger speedway races with short track events. You would think that would excite the short track hero. But…
“I enjoy going. I like racing. At the end of the day, I’m going to do whatever’s best for out sport. I’m competitive. So, I want to win races.”