NEWTON, Iowa (WWLP) – Ryan Preece out of Berlin, CT was the class of the field on Saturday at Iowa Speedway in the U.S. Cellular 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series event.
Preece scored his first career win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for Joe Gibbs Racing in his second start for the organization. An emotional Preece was speechless in victory lane.
Preece started the race from the pole. With the new format of stage racing in NASCAR during the 2017 season, Preece won stage one.
Preece battled with Justin Allgaier for the lead as Allgaier won stage two. The field came in for pit stops that included Preece with less than 80 laps to go as Allgaier elected to stay out. Preece took the lead on the restart.
Preece got into a comfortable lead but there were two cautions late in the race. Preece was able to hold off Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Benjamin on the final restart and hang on to win.
Preece made his debut for Joe Gibbs Racing back in the Overton’s 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 15th. Preece finished second in the event to Joe Gibbs driver Kyle Busch.
Preece ran the full NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule in 2016 for JD Motorsports. He decided to come back and race in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour for Ed and Connie Partridge. He has won two races on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season at Stafford Motor Speedway with the Spring Sizzler in April and at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
Preece won the NASCAR Whelen All-Star Shootout back at New Hampshire Motor Speedway just a couple weeks ago.
Preece also won the EXIT Realty Modified Touring Series season opener at Monadnock Speedway back in April in a caution free event. Preece is also the point leader in the Sunoco Modified division at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.
Preece won the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship for Flamingo Motorsports out of Palmer becoming the youngest champion on the tour at 22-years old. Preece’s grandfather Bob Judkins owned a modified that raced at the former Riverside Park Speedway in Agawam.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will make a return to the Northeast in the Finger Lakes region next Saturday where they will race at Watkins Glen International. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will be back in action on Friday at Stafford Motor Speedway.