Sep 26, 2015 5:57 PM

Ryan Preece's Sprint Cup debut starts with a go-kart challenge

LOUDON - NASCAR is a competitive sport, but a driver making his Sprint Cup Series debut is getting advice from a person he idolized as a kid.

This weekend will be Jeff Gordon’s final time competing at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway but for Connecticut’s Ryan Preece, it will be his NASCAR Sprint Cup racing debut.

“I remember they got rained out for qualifier,” Preece recalled. “Ryan Newman was at a pet store in the mall. I was 8 or 9 years old; I was just like ‘hey- it’s Ryan Newman.’ It’s kind of funny, I get to talk to him and talk about driving now.”

His grandfather was a racecar owner. Preece, now 24, has been racing since 2007, driving in the modified series. That’s where he’ll compete on Saturday. Loudon is the only track he has yet to conquer.

“It’s kind of like our own Daytona,” Preece said. “There’s a draft here with the modified, so you could be a tenth place car and win… just because the way the air is. It makes it incredibly difficult. I’ve lead a lot of laps but just haven’t been able to do it.”

Sunday will be Preece’s debut. He will drive the No. 98 Chevy for Tommy Baldwin racing. The perfect debut at his ‘home track,’ only 3 hours from where he grew up. He expects a big crowd of family and friends all weekend.


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