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Ryan Preece Scores Top Five in Richmond

Ryan Preece

Ryan Preece works his way inside the top five (Photo: Mitchell Richtmyre | The Podium Finish)

RICHMOND, Va. — Ryan Preece drove to a fifth-place finish at Richmond Raceway to record his best result of the season in the Cook Out 400 on Sunday afternoon.

Preece and his No. 41 team were able to make the adjustments their car needed early in the weekend to gain speed. Preece recorded the 23rd fastest lap time in practice and turned 38 laps. The Berlin, Connecticut native improved on that just an hour later to qualify 11th on Saturday afternoon.

By Lap 2 of the race, Preece had already worked his way inside the top 10 to ninth place. He drove up to sixth place at the end of Stage 1. During the stage caution, Preece missed his pit box while coming down for service in Lap 74. After a little contact with William Byron in the No. 24 machine, Preece was able to get his pit stop completed and he rejoined the field in the 18th position. However, by the end of Stage 2, Preece worked his way back up to seventh place. The SHR driver ran in the top five for most of the final stage and third when a caution came out with 10 laps to go, but dropped a pair of spots in a three-lap dash to the finish.

Ryan Preece is all smiles after a top-five in Richmond (Photo: Wayne Riegle | The Podium Finish)

After the race, Preece spoke about common problems his car has had throughout this season, and what made Sunday’s race different, allowing them to have a strong result.

“We’ve just struggled a lot this year trying to get the front to turn,” Preece said. “I’ve always told them, when I’m tight, it feels like I have handcuffs behind my back. So, we went about it a little different and gave me a loose car like a modified, and she was good.”

Preece also mentioned how his relationship ability to have difficult conversations with crew chief Chad Johnston affects his results.

“You can have those tough conversations that sometimes you have to have,” Preece added. “And I’m going to hold myself accountable, he’s going to hold himself accountable. That’s really our team motto, everyone just perfect their job and we will have really good days.”

Sunday was Preece’s first top five for the 2023 season, alongside one top-10 in Daytona. Preece sits 25th in points, 88 below the cutline. With four races remaining in the regular season, Preece will have to win at Michigan International Speedway, the Indianapolis Road Course, Watkins Glen International or Daytona International Speedway to make it into the playoffs.

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