By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor
CONCORD, N.C. – After turning heads in the Xfinity Series over the last couple of years, Ryan Preece’s bet on himself has paid off as he will be headed to a full-time ride in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2019.
Less than a week after JTG Daugherty Racing announced that they would be releasing AJ Allmendinger from his contract at season’s end, the team made it official on Friday that Preece would be taking over the seat of the No. 47 Chevrolet starting next season.
“Tommy Lasorda says, ‘The difference between impossible and possible lies in a man’s determination,’ and I feel that JTG Daugherty Racing has just that,” Preece said. “It’s been many years of fighting for opportunities to compete and win races at NASCAR’s highest level, and it is nice to officially say that JTG Daugherty Racing is my new home for 2019. I look forward to not only racing, but working with the team as well to build speed and create a name for myself here. I can’t thank Tad and Jodi Geschickter, Brad Daugherty and Gordon Smith enough for the opportunity.”
The 27-year-old Berlin, Connecticut native has been a standout in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Series since 2007, winning 22 races in 155 starts, and also made some starts in the Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series with Mike Curb and JD Motorsports, respectively.
However grand his accomplishments in the Modifieds were, he really got on everyone’s radar when he teamed up with Joe Gibbs Racing on a part-time basis starting in 2017. From the drop of the green flag with the team, Preece started knocking out top-five and top-10 finishes week after week, making his presence known in a big way.
In total, Preece has scored two wins in the Xfinity Series behind the wheel of a JGR Toyota (Iowa 2017, Bristol 2018), along with eight top-five finishes, 10 top-10 finishes, and one pole in 13 starts.
“We’re really looking forward to having Ryan join our team for the 2019 season,” team owner Tad Geschickter said. “Ryan has an impressive list of accomplishments in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series and is now being given a great opportunity to compete at NASCAR’s highest level full-time. We really believe in him and think he’s a great addition to the team.”
Preece will team up with Chris Buescher to complete JTG Daugherty’s two-driver lineup for the 2019 season and beyond.