Preece has figured out Riverhead Raceway, winning
his third consecutive NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
race at the track Saturday night in the Green Earth
Preece, 22, from Berlin, Conn., took the lead from
Timmy Solomito on Lap 177, sliding underneath the
local driver and holding on for his fourth win of
the 2013 season.
In addition to his win at Riverhead earlier in the
season, Preece also has a win at Monadnock Speedway
in Winchester, N.H., another quarter-mile bullring.
"I think my driving style suits them," Preece said.
"I really like a loose car.
"And without the car I've had, I wouldn't be in
Victory Lane. I've just been very fortunate. I've
been in the right places and the right ime and in
the right cars."
The 21-year-old Solomito, a regular in the NASCAR
Whelen All-American Series Modified Division at
Riverhead, won his first career Coors Light Pole
Award in his sixth tour start and led the first
three-quarters of the race before giving way to
Justin Bonsignore managed to get by Solomito on Lap
193 to take second, while Solomito settled for
"It was a pretty good run," said Bonsignore. "All
the cautions just killed us. We were set up for the
race to go fairly green. And the car just stayed too
tight, until that last yellow. We were able to work
Solomito and get by him, and at that point, Preece
was just too far checked out.
"We were kind of catching him, but he's one of the
best here right now -- on any level of racing -- and
it was just going to be tough to get him."
Despite missing out on the win, it was a career day
"I knew we had a pretty good car," Solomito said.
"We were just trying to run a pace at the beginning
not to kill the tires. But when you have Ryan Preece
behind you, that's tough to do.
"Not running a lot of these Tour shows, I wanted to
lead the laps. I wanted to be that guy. I kind of
burnt it up a little bit there in the beginning and
paid for it in the end.
"But all in all, a great day to come here, qualify
on the pole and finish third. Lead 176 laps. I
really couldn't ask for me. I just can't thank
everybody enough that's helped me out today."
The race was slowed by 13 cautions. Each time
Solomito was able to pull away, although after a few
laps Preece began to reel him back in and look for
an inside lane to pass.
"He races a lot, obviously," said Solomito. "And
from racing those SK (Modified) cars, he gets real
close to your back bumper down the straightaways and
kind of sling shots it in.
"I was really on the guard for one of those moves.
He kept trying to work us over. I was really trying
to protect the bottom the best I could and keep the
right rear tire under me. Because usually when you
hold nose down, you usually end up burning the right
rear off. I was just trying to protect the bottom
the best I could. But he got in there and the rest
After taking control of the top spot, Preece
strategically moved around the quarter-mile asphalt
oval, pulling away for the win by 2.314 seconds.
"We had a strong car when we started - we started
off a little snug," said Preece. "There were quite a
few cautions that put us on the outside of Timmy
Solomito. But fortunately, all those cautions helped
me, as far as making the little adjustments I can
make - and that was putting rear brake into the car
so I could roll the center.
"It seemed like every restart, we got a little bit
better and a little bit better. And maybe he was
getting a little bit freer up off.
"We were able to muscle our way in there and get by
him and come out with the victory."
It was the ninth tour victory for the 2013 NASCAR
Next driver and he tied Mike Ewanitsko for the most
consecutive wins at the track, which has held 53
"It's such an accomplishment," said Preece. "He's
kind of like a Richie Evans to me - in my eyes, as a
hero. So it's definitely great to tie him."
Woody Pitkat capped a strong run with a fourth-place
finish, while Howie Brode came back from a mid-race
spin to finish fifth. Earlier in the month, Brode
wrapped up Riverhead's NASCAR Whelen All-American
Series Modified Division title.
Bonsignore was the 2011 Riverhead track champion,
while Preece has also raced regularly in the track's
Eric Goodale, Rowan Pennink, Ted Christopher, Todd
Szegedy and Patrick Emerling rounded out the top 10.
Preece also pushed his points lead to 46 over Doug
Coby, who finished 14th, with three races remaining.
Preece leads by 73 over third-place Pennink and 77
over Mike Stefanik. Pitkat is fifth in points, four
back of Stefanik.
The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour will race next in
the F.W. Webb 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on
Sept. 21. The race will air live on FS2 at noon.
Green Earth Technologies "200" UNOFFICIAL Results
Saturday At Riverhead Raceway, Riverhead, NY
Lap length: 0.25 miles
(Start position in parentheses)
1. (3) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Ford, 200 laps, 38.136
2. (5) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY, Chevrolet, 200.
3. (1) Timmy Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200.
4. (11) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Pontiac, 200.
5. (2) Howie Brode, East Islip, NY, Chevrolet, 200.
6. (6) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200.
7. (16) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 200.
8. (7) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
9. (12) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn., Ford, 200.
10. (9) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY, Chevrolet, 200.
11. (8) Donny Lia, Jericho, NY, Dodge, 200.
12. (10) Shawn Solomito, Islip, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200.
13. (23) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 200.
14. (18) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
15. (20) Wade Cole, Hartland, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
16. (19) Ron Yuhas, Jr., Groton, Conn., Chevrolet, 200.
17. (26) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn., Chevrolet, 199.
18. (28) Glen Reen, Wilbraham, MA, Chevrolet, 197.
19. (22) Gary McDonald, Ronkonkoma, N.Y., Pontiac, 196.
20. (14) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Chevrolet, 195.
21. (21) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, NY, Chevrolet, 195.
22. (24) Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT, Chevrolet, 200.
23. (27) Frank Vigliarolo, Jr., Mt. Sinai, NY, Chevrolet, 154, mechanical.
24. (4) John Beatty, Jr., Merrick, N.Y., Chevrolet, 147,
25. (25) Bobby Santos, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 147, suspension.
26. (15) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Ford, 142.
27. (17) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 86, accident.
28. (13) Cole Powell, Mt Brydges, Ont., Canada, Chevrolet, 61, accident.
Time of Race: 1 hour 18 minutes 40 seconds
Margin of Victory: 2.314 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: T. Solomito * (75.956 mph, 11.849 seconds)
Caution Flags: 13 for 101 laps.
Lead Changes: 1 among 2 drivers.
Lap Leaders: T. Solomito 1-176; R. Preece 177-200.
Standings: 1. R. Preece, 453; 2. D. Coby, 407; 3. R. Pennink, 379; 4.
M. Stefanik, 376;
5. R. Silk, 373; 6. W. Pitkat, 372; 7. J. Bonsignore, 367; 8. T.
Christopher, 366; 9. D.
Lia, 362; 10. T. Szegedy, 354.