Notes of Interest

● Ryan Preece and his NASCAR Cup Series counterparts head to Phoenix Raceway this weekend for the Shriners Children’s 500k NASCAR Cup Series race. Sunday’s 312-lap contest around the 1-mile oval debuts a new short-track rules package, as Preece’s No. 41 United Rentals Ford Mustang Dark Horse for Stewart-Haas Racing will be outfitted with a simplified rear diffuser and a higher rear spoiler compared to last year’s specifications. The aim is to put more of the race in the driver’s hands, where nuanced throttle control will be key to maintaining grip and managing tire wear. The updated package is a welcome one for Preece, who honed these exact traits on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour – NASCAR’s oldest division and the only open-wheel series sanctioned by NASCAR. Preece won the Tour championship in 2013 and properly leveraged that title and his 26 Tour victories into additional opportunities across NASCAR’s top-three national touring series – Craftsman Truck, Xfinity and Cup.

● The Shriners Children’s 500k will mark Preece’s 10th career NASCAR Cup Series start at Phoenix. The best of his previous nine outings came last year in his first season with Stewart-Haas. Preece finish 12th in the March race and 14th in November’s season finale.

● Outside of the NASCAR Cup Series, Preece has three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Phoenix with his best result being a fifth-place drive in November 2018.

● Joining Preece this weekend at Phoenix is United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE: URI), the largest equipment rental company in the world. United Rentals has an integrated network of 1,449 rental locations in North America, 13 in Europe, 27 in Australia and 19 in New Zealand. In North America, the company operates in 49 states and every Canadian province. The company’s approximately 24,700 employees serve construction and industrial customers, utilities, municipalities, homeowners and others. The company offers approximately 4,700 classes of equipment for rent with a total original cost of $19.3 billion. United Rentals is a member of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, the Barron’s 400 Index and the Russell 3000 Index®. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut. Additional information about United Rentals is available at UnitedRentals.com.

Ryan Preece, Driver of the No. 41 United Rentals Ford Mustang Dark Horse

Phoenix isn’t necessarily a short track as it’s a mile in length, but it features qualities that are similar with its minimal banking and relatively flat straights. What approach are you and the team taking into this race?

“I feel like last year, our strength as a company was at the short tracks. Phoenix falls under that category to us. In the last race at Phoenix, I felt like we had a top-15 car. My hope for this year, with the improvements that have been made, is that we can continue to take steps forward and consistently be where we want to be on performance. We’re excited for the short tracks coming up and want to kick off the first one by running a clean race with a car that is able to do everything right.”

Stewart-Haas has been historically strong at Phoenix. Does that bring added motivation to you and the No. 41 team this weekend?

“I think it has to add motivation. We’re going to know exactly some of the gains that have been made with the new Ford Mustang Dark Horse body, as well as some things that we need to work on as a team after Las Vegas. All of us were able to have good days at Phoenix last year, so we expect them to be even better this year with some the updates that have been and made to the cars.”

Cars will run a simplified diffuser and a higher rear spoiler. How will the changes impact the racing at Phoenix?

“It’s pretty much a reset from what we experienced last year. The cars will be so much different. The effects that it will have on the racing at Phoenix is kind of an unknown until we hit the track this weekend.”

This is your second season with Stewart-Haas. How has the dynamic evolved now that you’ve had more than a year to get to know the team and for the team to get to know you?

“I feel like there has been more time to develop communication, to figure out exactly where we need to be balance-wise, and then to determine what we’re all happy with and what makes it feel like home. It’s the same team and same group of people as last year, so it definitely helps in developing those relationships, which are important to help us go out and capitalize on strong runs.”

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