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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour




Stafford Motor Speedway has lined up an impressive field of current and former open wheel champions for its 3rd Annual CARQUEST Champions For Charities Event, which will take place on Friday, June 28th this season. During the coming weeks, SMS will offer a profile on each of its championship winning drivers and the charity they will be racing for and this week's CARQUEST Champions For Charities spotlights falls on 2011 Stafford SK Modified® champion Ryan Preece, who will be racing to support the Connecticut chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

"Last year we had a lot of fun raising money for Make-A-Wish and we were fortunate enough to hit our goal of raising $5,000," said Preece. "This year should be a lot of fun again and we'd like to raise more money than we did last year, but hopefully we can at least match what we raised last year. We're working on some ideas right now for fund raising opportunities and we only have three more months before the race, so we have to get going."

Make-A-Wish® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 38 minutes.

Preece's $5,000 total last year was good enough to give him 5th place on the starting grid and he dueled with Ron Midford, Jr. for the win in the closing laps, but he was unable to make a pass for the win and settled for second place. After experiencing for the first time what it was like to sit behind the wheel of a Wild Thing Kart Senior Outlaw machine, Preece is ready to finish one step higher on the podium this year.

"Those karts are fun to drive, without shocks they bounce around quite a bit, but any time you're in something with 4 wheels and a motor, it's a good time," said Preece. "Last year I was lucky enough to be in a fast kart and we came really close to winning. There was one moment last year where I could have got by Ron, but I didn't want to end up wrecking someone's kart so we settled for the second place finish. You really have to manhandle those karts around the track and hopefully we'll have another fast kart to race this year that we can put into the winner's circle when the checkered flag falls. I think it's pretty cool that the race will be on a Friday this year, it will give the normal Friday crowd something different to see and we're hoping to put on a good show for all the fans."

In addition to his fund raising efforts, Preece will be getting ready to tackle Stafford's SK Modified® division in the #40 J.G. Poulin Drywall / Sullivan & Sons Pontiac as well as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season behind the wheel of the #16 Diversified Metals Ford. Preece won two races and finished fourth in the 2012 SK Modified® standings last year after winning the championship in 2011, and he is determined to get back to the top of the standings this season.

"Everything is looking good, everything is the same as it was last year, so we should be in good shape," said Preece. "Last year we had some bad luck, there were a few nights where we had a dominant car and things just didn't go our way. Mr. and Mrs. Poulin are putting a lot into our motor and I'm sure that Mike Pettit will have a good piece for us. One area that we won't be lacking in this year will be horsepower, that's for sure."

As Preece looks to better his points position in the SK Modified® division, he will also be looking to improve his Whelen Modified Tour finishes at SMS. Preece was on pole for 2 of the 4 Stafford races last year but his best finish was a second place effort at the CARQUEST Tech-Net Spring Sizzler. Preece will be looking to add to his 1 career victory at SMS, which came back in 2009, and with the newly announced $25,000 CARQUEST Triple Crown bonus at Stafford, Preece has extra incentive to get back to CARQUEST Victory Lane.

"We always seem to be consistent and fast at Stafford with the Tour car, so I feel like our chances of winning that bonus are pretty good," said Preece. "It's pretty cool that CARQUEST and Stafford have offered that bonus. If we can't win the three CARQUEST races this year, we're going to try our hardest to win as many of them as we can. We all race hard every lap on the Tour, but I'm sure that you're going to see some really hard racing at the Sizzler this year and whoever wins the Sizzler will obviously be in good shape. Whoever ends up winning the Sizzler, I'm sure everyone will try their hardest to keep him from winning either of the last 2 CARQUEST races. We always seem to qualify well at Stafford and if we can figure out what we need for the race, I think we'll be in good shape to win some Stafford races this year."

The starting lineups for the CARQUEST Champions For Charities 15-lap feature will be determined by how much money each driver raises for their selected charity. The starting grid will be set with the drivers who have raised the most money starting up front. Fans are encouraged to get involved in the event by donating to their favorite driver or favorite charity. To make a donation to The Connecticut chapter fo the Make-A-Wish Foundation on behalf of Ryan Preece, and for more information on the event, please refer to the CARQUEST Champions for Charities donation page located at www.staffordspeedway.com. Stay tuned to www.staffordspeedway.com for more driver spotlights and exciting information regarding the CARQUEST Champions for Charities event, which will take place on Friday, June 28.

For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.

  Source: Scott Running / Stafford Motor Speedway
Posted: March 22, 2013

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