BARRE, Vt. — Officials from Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl announced Monday that NASCAR Cup Series regular Ryan Preece will compete in this year’s Essex Equipment Vermont Governor’s Cup on Thursday, July 15.
Preece will drive a car prepared by American-Canadian Tour and NASCAR Busch North Series legend Dale Shaw, who will also serve as his crew chief for the event.
Preece is in the middle of his third full-time season with the NASCAR Cup Series. He currently sits 24th in points driving for JTG Daughtry Racing. Prior to joining the team, Preece won two Xfinity Series races for Joe Gibbs Racing. The Governor’s Cup will be Preece’s first time racing at Thunder Road and his first time driving an ACT late model.
“I’ve never run at Thunder Road, so I’m pretty excited about it,” Preece said. “It will be nice, being able to jump into one of those cars, it seems like quite the racey track. I’m excited about it, and the ACT Late Models always put on a great show.”
Preece is an accomplished tour-type modified racer who captured the 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour title before earning his opportunity at NASCAR’s top level.
“To me, I’ve always looked at it as every race car is the same, and they all want to go left,” Preece said. “You just have to get them driving right. Thunder Road looks like a track I can relate to with all the tracks that I’ve been to. I don’t really know what to expect, but I can honestly tell you I’m going to show up and give 120 percent and try to win. That’s what I do as a race car driver, right? So I’m excited about it.”
Preece will not be the first NASCAR competitor to compete at Thunder Road. Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer Ken Schrader, Kenny Wallace, and David Ragan have all competed at Thunder Road in the last 15 years. Christopher Bell, who won his first NASCAR Cup race in February, was the most recent invader with a ninth-place finish in 2019.
“I love racing, I like competition, but I race because I want to win — just like any other race car driver, right?” Preece said. “But that’s what really drives me, is success and winning. That’s what I enjoy. I like trying out different racecars, but I want to be able to say that I’ve won in that type of car. Pretty much all the way up until this point, every different type of racecar I’ve driven, I’ve won in except for a Cup car. I’d like to continue going with that and have the ability and the chances to do those things.”