Competing in his third full-time season in the NASCAR Cup Series, Ryan Preece is within reach of a milestone start. By competing in this weekend’s Cup event at Watkins Glen International, the driver of the No. 37 JTG-Daugherty Racing Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE will achieve 100 career starts in NASCAR’s premier series.
A native from Berlin, Connecticut, Preece made his Cup debut at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September 2015. By then, he was a veteran and a former champion in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Driving the No. 98 car for Premium Motorsports, Preece started 37th and finished 32nd in his serie on Ss debut. He returned for the final four Cup races of the season, where he finished 42nd, 36th, 37th and 38th in the following races at Martinsville Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Phoenix Raceway and at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
In September 2018, Preece was named a full-time Cup driver of the No. 47 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for JTG-Daugherty Racing for the 2019 season, replacing AJ Allmendinger. By then, Preece was coming off two strong part-time seasons in the Xfinity Series with Joe Gibbs Racing, where he earned one victory apiece in each season.
Making his debut with JTG-Daugherty Racing in the 2019 Daytona 500, Preece dodged a series of late multi-car incidents to finish in eighth place, which also marked his first top-10 result in NASCAR’s premier series. After finishing no higher than 16th during the following eight races, Preece notched a career-best third-place result at Talladega Superspeedway in April. He went on to earn another top-10 result, seventh, at Michigan International Speedway in August before finishing in 26th place in the final standings and in the runner-up spot for the 2019 Cup Rookie-of-the-Year title behind Daniel Hemric.
Preece continued to drive for JTG-Daugherty Racing for the 2020 season, but he transitioned from the No. 47 car to the No. 37 car formerly driven by Chris Buescher. During the season-opening Daytona 500, Preece was in position for a strong result until he was eliminated in a multi-car wreck in the final laps. His best results throughout the season were ninth place at Bristol Motor Speedway in September and 10th place at Talladega Superspeedway in October before finishing in 29th place in the final standings.
Though he remained at JTG-Daugherty Racing for the 2021 season, Preece’s team entered this season without a charter and a guaranteed entry for all Cup races. In addition, Preece’s team only had sponsorship guarantees for 24 of the 36-race schedule. Uncertain of the future, Preece commenced the season on a strong note by finishing in sixth-place in the Daytona 500 despite being involved in a multi-car wreck on the final lap. He went on to finish ninth the following week at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course.
Through the first 22 Cup events of this season, Preece has recorded three top-10 results, an average-finishing result of 22.1 and is ranked in 26th place in the regular-season standings, with plans on completing the remaining 14 events of 2021.
Through 99 previous starts in the Cup circuit, Preece has achieved one top-five result, eight top-10 results and 25 laps led.
Preece is primed to make his 100th NASCAR Cup Series career start at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 8, at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN.