SOUTH BOSTON, VA :: Ryan Preece finished in the top-10 in his first ever start in a Late Model Stock Car race driving for Tommy Lemons, Jr. and Jumpstart Motorsports in Thursday night’s Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at South Boston Speedway in Virginia. Preece started the race in the 13th position and rebounded from a late race incident to finish in 10th.
Preece qualified in 10th which set him up for a fourth place start in the first heat race of the evening. Preece went on to finish fifth in the heat race which put him in the 13th position on the grid for the start of the 200-lap feature in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown. Preece worked his way up through the race, cracking the top-five and battling with Peyton Sellers for the third position. At lap 153, contact between the two drivers forced Preece to the pits to address some minor damage.
After the pit stop, Preece drove his way from the back of the field up to the 10th position where he would end up finishing the race.
“It was a good race,” Preece said. “I think everybody thought it would be a wreckfest and there were a lot of green flag runs and good racing. Tommy gave me a great car and we were always driving forward. We were up to third or fourth at one point and an unfortunate mishap happened. I’m just happy to rebound and go back out after the pit stop, come from the back and get to 10th. With a couple of restarts, I think we could’ve capitalized and got some track position. It was a good first experience for sure.”
The experience with Jumpstart Motorsports has Preece excited and wanting to race again in a Late Model for Lemons’ race team.
“I would love to race again if the opportunity presents itself and I wouldn’t want to do it with anybody other than Tommy,” Preece explained. “Tommy has a great bunch of people. They made it easy and were great to work with. I was appreciative to run their car and be involved in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown. I think I’d like to run Martinsville so maybe if my schedule works out, maybe I’ll go there for Tommy. I’m just so busy up north with the modified stuff. This is a top notch team with top notch equipment that can win races. I was running with guys that usually win at South Boston and that was good especially for my first time in one of those cars.”
“Everything got off to a slow start,” Lemons said of Preece’s run. “We struggled in practice on Wednesday but finally hit on some stuff in practice on Thursday and ended up having a really good qualifying effort. We got caught up behind another car in group qualifying so it could’ve been even better. The car was strong in the race and he drove his butt off to get up to third before making contact with another racer. The results don’t show it but we had a really good car and Ryan’s is a super wheelman!”
Jumpstart Motorsports will be back in action on Saturday, April 26th at Motor Mile Speedway for twin 75-lap Late Model races with Craig Stallard behind the wheel.
Ryan Preece’s effort inThursday night’s race was supported by Dunleavy Truck and Trailer Repair, East West Marine and Sophie’s Rest of Southhold, NY. For more information about Jumpstart Motorsports, check out their website atwww.jumpstartmotorsports.com