HaasTooling.com Racing: Ryan Preece Texas Advance

Notes of Interest

● When Ryan Preece takes the green flag for the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, it will be his eighth career NASCAR Cup Series start at the 1.5-mile oval. His best Texas finish of 18th came in 2020 while driving for JTG-Daugherty Racing.

● Preece heads to Texas after posting a season-best finish of ninth last Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. He kicked off the weekend with a strong practice session, posting the third-fastest lap. From his 22nd-place starting spot, Preece steadily made his way toward the top-10, finishing the second stage in 14th. After losing four spots on pit road during the Stage 2 break, Preece raced his way forward once again and emerged with his first top-10 of the season. Statistically, he was one of the top-five biggest movers in the final stage.

● Preece has competed four times in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Texas, achieving a best finish of fifth for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2018. In the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Preece raced at Texas in 2022 for David Gilliland Racing, starting fifth and leading 27 laps en route to a third-place result.

● Back with Preece and the No. 41 Ford Mustang Dark Horse at Texas is HaasTooling.com, the cutting tool division of Haas Automation. HaasTooling.com allows CNC machinists to purchase high-quality cutting tools at great prices. Haas cutting tools are sold exclusively online at HaasTooling.com and shipped directly to end users. Haas Automation, founded in 1983, is America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools. The company manufactures a complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers, rotaries and indexers, and automation solutions.

Ryan Preece, Driver of the No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang Dark Horse

It’s been six weeks since the Cup Series last raced on a mile-and-a-half track. What are your thoughts heading to Texas?

“We knew the No. 10 car (of Noah Gragson) was really good at Las Vegas, so we’ve been looking over and working through some of the things they did to ensure we have some of the speed they had there. Heading into Texas, with it being a mile-and-a-half, we’re a lot more optimistic than last year.”

Texas will not host a race in the playoffs for the first time since 2004. Does that have an impact on how teams look at this race?

“As much as Texas is different from other mile-and-a-half tracks that we visit on the circuit, this is just another opportunity for our team and other teams to fine-tune our packages for these types of tracks. Texas isn’t in the playoffs, but we can take data from this one and apply it to other mile-and-a-half tracks that are in the playoffs this season.”

You have a best Cup Series finish of 18th at Texas. What do you need in the car to improve upon that finish on Sunday?

“The good news is we were running in the top-10 and could’ve potentially been in the top-five at Texas last year. The speed and performance were there, so we need to look at some of those things, as well as some of the things the team learned this year at Las Vegas. I have really high expectations going into Texas this weekend.”

You’ve had strong performances in both the Xfinity and Truck series at Texas. Does that give you any added confidence on the Cup side?

“Yes, I think those experiences have given me a baseline of the direction that I look for in a racecar at Texas. Our team looks at that and applies as much as we can from those events to determine what works best from a balance standpoint.”

What do you feel is most important for you and the team over the next few races?

“We have to build momentum. Martinsville was great. Bristol went pretty well for us. COTA and Richmond were a challenge. The speed is there, we just have to really dig deep and execute. And if we do that, April will be a really good month.”

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