Race Weekend Central

Ryan Preece Wins Nashville Truck Race in 1st Start

Once again, a full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver has won in the lower series, but no, it isn’t Kyle Busch.

Ryan Preece, in his very first career Camping World Truck Series start, took the lead within the final 10 laps to earn the victory in the series’ first race at Nashville Superspeedway since 2011.

“I didn’t know what to expect really,” the full time driver of the No. 37 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevy in the Cup Series said after the race. “I didn’t know anything. I was just taking the guidance from my teammates. I told them I’d do better in the race than I did in qualifying and practice, and I lived up to that.”

Preece, who led only eight laps throughout the event, joins the likes of Robert Pressley, Mike Skinner and Kasey Kahne as first-start winners in the truck series.

He had to work to get there, though.

Right from the beginning, it appeared as though track position would win the day as Derek Kraus, the 20-year-old Wisconsinite that had won his first career pole earlier in the evening, led the entirety of stage one and had the fastest lap out of anyone in the 36-truck field. He led all of the first 48 laps to win his first career stage.

In the subsequent pit stops, however, Kraus’ No. 19 team proved unable to service the Toyota in time to put him back into the lead. From there, fellow truck series young gun Chandler Smith took the lead at the beginning of stage two.

Smith led for most of stage two until the first non-stage caution of the day which stemmed from the expiration of NASCAR Cup Series’ regular William Byron‘s engine. Byron, who was making his first truck series start since 2016, experienced the failure in his No. 27 Chevrolet Silverado on lap 80.

Smith went on to win stage two, while Kraus, who had restarted sixth after his slow pit stop, found himself back in third.

That was when drivers like Grant Enfinger showed their hand.

That lap 80 caution gave a few truckers the chance to come to pit road for new tires. When the final stage caution came out with merely 50 laps to go, those same drivers still pitted — but only for fuel.

Drivers that had been nowhere near the front all evening were now suddenly leading with less than 50 laps to go. Enfinger, Carson Hocevar, Stewart Friesen, Parker Kligerman, and Todd Gilliland restarted in the top five.

See also
Kyle Busch Leads Xfinity Practice at Nashville

In seventh, however, lurked the No. 17 Truck Series first-timer Preece.

Smith would be relegated back to ninth on the restart.

At first, Enfinger and Friesen were unsure if they were going to make the remaining distance on fuel, but a spin from Johnny Sauter on the next restart helped them get closer to the saving distance.

With 39 laps to go, pole-sitter Derek Kraus clipped the No. 25 of Josh Berry and slapped the outside wall in turn 3. After scoring the most points out of anyone throughout the night thus far, Kraus’ night ended early.

Throughout the restarts and short green flag sprints, Preece crept his way through the field.

With less than 15 laps to go, the former Whelen Modified Tour champion caught the No. 98 of Enfinger. After around 10 laps of the two battling for the lead, and with Gilliland entering the fray, Preece finally made the move around Enfinger on the outside and didn’t look back.

Rackley Roofing 200 Race Results

The next race for the Truck Series is next Saturday, June 26 at Pocono Raceway. Coverage will be live on FOX Sports 1 at noon ET.

About the author

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Dalton Hopkins began writing for Frontstretch in April 2021. Currently, he is the lead writer for the weekly Thinkin' Out Loudcolumn and one of our lead reporters. Beforehand, he wrote for IMSA shortly after graduating from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2019. Simultaneously, he also serves as a First Lieutenant in the US Army.

Follow Dalton on Twitter @PitLaneLT

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Tom B

Glad for DGR one, two finish and Hunt Brothers Pizza sold in Gas Stations all over America. Yum Yum!

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