Photo: Stephen A. Arce/ASP, Inc.

2020 Cup Series Season Preview: Ryan Preece

By David Morgan, Associate Editor

Editor’s note: Motorsports Tribune will be previewing the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season for the full-time drivers in the series leading into February’s running of the Daytona 500.

Age: 29

Years in Cup: Two

Career Wins: Two NASCAR Xfinity Series wins

Not too long ago, Ryan Preece was just looking to make a name for himself in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, landing a part-time ride with Joe Gibbs Racing and hoping to make the most of it. Two wins later, Preece parlayed that success into a full-time slot with JTG Daugherty Racing, where he enters his second season driving the team’s Chevrolet Camaros.

While piloting the No. 47 entry last year, his first full-time season at NASCAR’s highest level, the 29-year old Berlin, Connecticut native scored one top-five finish (third at Talladega) and three top-10 finishes to end the season 26th in points.

Preece remains at JTG Daugherty in 2020, but much has changed since the checkered flag fell at Homestead-Miami Speedway in late November. Instead of remaining in the No. 47 car for this season, he will transition over to the No. 37 team where Chris Buescher drove last season.

With the move, Preece will now work with Trent Owens as crew chief, as Owens has served in that role over the past three seasons. Under Owens’ guidance, the No. 37 team racked up four top-10 finishes and improved their average finishing position from the season before.

In a previous crew chief role at Richard Petty Motorsports, Owens led Aric Almirola to his first Cup Series win at Daytona in 2014.

“Trent is a veteran at our organization leading the charge on the No. 37 car for the past three seasons,” team owner Tad Geschickter said. “He elevated a young driver in his second year in the series to consistently running in the top 15, and we have high expectations that he will be a great fit with Ryan Preece next year in his sophomore season.”

“I’m really looking forward to working with Trent Owens this upcoming season,” Preece added. “Our teams worked closely together in 2019. It was impressive to see what he’s done with the No. 37 team the last three years. I really want to continue building on that and bringing both cars into the top 15 regularly next year.”

Preece will be joined at JTG Daugherty by Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., who will drive the No. 47 entry after spending the past seven full-time seasons at Roush-Fenway Racing.

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.