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Quintuple Overtime Creates Top-Five Opportunity for Ryan Preece at Nashville

After running outside the top-20 all afternoon, Ryan Preece took advantage of the quintuple overtime chaos at Nashville to finish fourth, his best result for Stewart-Haas Racing.


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Nashville Superspeedway has always been a stellar racetrack for Stewart-Haas Racing driver Ryan Preece, having earned back-to-back victories in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at the 1.33-mile facility in 2021 and 2022.

The 33-year-old racer continued to build up that statline in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Ally 400, bringing his No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang home in fourth place, after a chaotic sequence of NASCAR Overtime restarts extended the race 31 laps past its scheduled distance.

To get the result, his best in two seasons with Stewart-Haas Racing, it took some finagling on the strategy via crew chief Chad Johnson, getting the Berlin, Connecticut-native to the front of the pack and in contention for the victory in the closing laps of the event, finishing behind Joey Logano, Zane Smith, and Tyler Reddick.

Much like his three Stewart-Haas teammates, Preece struggled with his race car in Sunday’s 400-mile contest, posting a race-end average finish just inside the top 25 and only being credited as running 17 laps inside the top-15.

With much of the field making their supposed final pit stop at Lap 220, it was already going to be tight making it on fuel to the race’s scheduled distance, leaving no margin of error for NASCAR Overtime – much less quintuple overtime.

So, when Austin Cindric and Noah Gragson made contact that sent the No. 2 Ford Mustang spinning down the backstretch, things got tense up and down on pit road.

With a two-lap shootout on the books and drivers able to save fuel under caution, the race leaders confidently stayed on the racetrack. But, running outside the top-20, Chad Johnston saw an opportunity to capitalize on some people running out of gas.

After pitting at Lap 300, Preece was close to the rear of the field. Then came the second overtime… the third… and the fourth, before almost all of the drivers who had attempted to stretch it had to come to the pits to top off their fuel tanks.

Then, all a sudden, Preece was sitting on the second row for a restart with two laps remaining, and although Tyler Reddick blasted around him on the outside lane, the driver of the No. 41 managed to bring it home fourth.

“We just kept moving forward and we had fresher tires,” said Preece. “Just really happy with how these guys kept fighting all day. Didn’t look like it was going to be very pretty, but another chaotic 10 or 15 laps there at the end and we salvaged a good day.”

It’s a welcome performance for Preece, who like four of the five other drivers at Stewart-Haas Racing, are being put in the spotlight while trying to secure another ride in the NASCAR Cup Series, or NASCAR’s National Series.

Not for nothing, it’s the second straight top-12 result for Preece in the NASCAR Cup Series, after coming home one spot short of a top-10 result at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last weekend, after running the final 96 laps on wet-weather tires.

Those results have jumped Preece from 28th to 25th in NASCAR Cup Series point standings, and while a points berth into the post-season is nearly impossible at this junction in the season, every points position could help strengthen his resume.
A small victory for Preece is also a victory for Stewart-Haas Racing, who for the first time since Summer 2022 had three of its entries score top-five finishes in two weeks.

Photo: Tyson Gifford, TobyChristie.com

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