Monday, Dec 04 Racing: Ryan Preece Charlotte Advance

Notes of Interest


● This weekend, as part of #NASCARSalutes and the yearly 600 Miles of Remembrance initiative at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600, the No. 41 team will be honoring Sergeant Bradley J. Harper of the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Born on Nov. 1, 1979, Harper was raised in Dresden, Ohio and joined the Marine Corps in December 1998. He attended boot camp in the spring of 1999 and was assigned to Lima Company (Co.), 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines out of Brook Park, Ohio, after the completion of boot camp. Harper served as a reservist until 2004, when he and his wife, Kendra Kellerman (Schiewe), moved to Chesapeake, Virginia. He transferred to the 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion stationed in Little Creek, Virginia. While he was living in Virginia, he worked as a police officer with the Virginia Beach Police Department. In 2005, Harper and his unit were mobilized to Iraq, where he was on the same base as his previous unit from Brook Park. On Aug. 3, Lima Co. conducted patrol operations and Harper volunteered to go on patrol with his former Marines. The vehicle that he and 13 other Marines were riding in ran over a roadside IED in Haditha, Iraq. All 13 Marines were killed in the attack.


● Sgt. Harper’s name will be on the windshield of Preece’s red, white and blue Ford Mustang as the series takes on the longest race of the season during Memorial Day Weekend.


● Preece will make his sixth NASCAR Cup Series start at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Sunday and his fifth Coca-Cola 600 start. His first was in 2019 for JTG-Daugherty Racing, when he started 24th but finished 31st due to a suspension issue. He has a best Charlotte finish of 22nd, which came in May 2020. Preece completed just 16 laps in last May’s Coca-Cola 600 event for Rick Ware Racing due to the Damaged Vehicle Policy. This weekend’s start will be Preece’s first Charlotte with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).


● In three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Charlotte, Preece has a best start of third and best finish of fifth, both of which occurred last May while driving for B.J. McLeod Motorsports in the No. 5 Ford. Preece’s lone NASCAR Truck Series start at Charlotte also came last May, when he started eighth and finished 11th for David Gilliland Racing.


● Last weekend, the series made its highly anticipated return to the newly revived North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway for the 2023 NASCAR All-Star Race and All-Star Open. Preece was one of 16 drivers who needed to race his way into the main event by finishing first or second in Sunday’s All-Star Open, or by winning the Fan Vote. Preece started the 100-lap Open eighth, and his team made significant adjustments during the lap-42 competition caution, which brought Preece’s car to life. He was able to work through traffic and avoid multiple incidents on his way to finishing fourth.


● Through the first third of the Cup Series season, Preece has shown improvement and consistency at a variety of racetracks, bringing a heightened sense of motivation to the No. 41 team. He had a career weekend at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in April, earning his first Cup Series pole and leading a career-high 135 laps. Since then, although the results haven’t shown it, Preece has started coming into his own.


● Preece heads to Charlotte 29th in the driver standings with 201 points.  


● Preece kicked off the 2023 season with a strong showing in the non-points Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, leading a race-high 43 laps but ultimately finishing seventh after a fuel pump issue. He has a best points-paying finish of 12th this season, which came at Phoenix Raceway in March., back again in 2023 on the No. 41 SHR Ford Musting, the cutting tool division of Haas Automation led by SHR co-owner Gene Haas. was launched as a way for CNC machinists to purchase high-quality cutting tools at great prices. Haas cutting tools are sold exclusively online at and shipped directly to end users. products became available nationally in July 2020. 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.

●, a proud partner of Preece, has launched a special racing experience giveaway for fans. The winner will receive airfare and a two-night stay during Coke Zero 400 weekend at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. will also give the winners two pit passes for the race, set for Saturday, Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. ET, preceded by a meet-and-greet with Preece, driver of the No. 41 SHR Ford Mustang. Visit for more information.


Ryan Preece, Driver of the No. 41 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:


What does it mean to you to honor and remember Sgt. Bradley Harper on your No. 41 Ford Mustang this Memorial Day weekend?

“I love what NASCAR does for the military and I truly don’t think there’s another sport out there that honors and supports the military and armed forces the way we do. It’s so special to be part of it and the celebration that the track and the sport puts on all weekend is unlike anything else. To be part of it is something I really appreciate and it’s always an honor to have a military member on the windshield of the car riding with me. All of us drivers want to do them and their family proud in the race and I hope that we can do that this weekend. I think anyone who comes to the Coca-Cola 600 race weekend can see just how much this sport supports the military, and it is truly very extraordinary.”


The Coca-Cola 600 is the longest race of the season. Do you have to prepare differently for it because of its length?

“For me, hydration this week is going to be really important. Because of how long the race is, the hydration preparation has already started. We need to make sure we’re good to go way before that green flag drops so we’re in good shape to make it all the way to the end. Aside from that, everything I do is like any other race weekend and race day. I’ve been working hard in the gym with my guys and trying to be in the best shape I can be, so that will definitely help me, too.”


What’s your mindset heading into this weekend’s race?

"It’s just trying to figure out where your car needs to be in the beginning in order to have it good at the end. We all talk about that because the track goes through temperature changes throughout the race with how long it is. Charlotte is one of the most temperamental racetracks that we go to, I feel like, from day to night, from track temperature and cooling off. It’s going to be extremely important to keep up with the racetrack and with communication on what you need, how much you need and at what point in the race it makes the most sense to make those adjustments. Mindset will be important, too, because when you’re at the end of Stage 1, you’re already 100 laps into the race but you’ve still got 300 more to go and, by the end of the second stage, you feel like you’ve completed an entire race, already. It’s just keeping your head in it, remaining patient and, as always, staying out of the messes so you can be up front and in position for the win at the end. We’ve seen a lot of Charlotte wins come during the last few laps, so you’ve got to be ready.”


What would it mean to you to win a crown jewel event like the Coca-Cola 600?

“Any win is very special, and I’m still going after my first Cup Series win, so for it to come on Memorial Day weekend at the Coca-Cola 600, wow, that would just be amazing. To be able to have your name on one of those trophies and in that record book when the whole industry is close to home would be so awesome. But for me, every win is special in every series, I don’t take any of them for granted in my career. But getting a win in the Cup Series is my goal. It’s been my goal for a long time and that’s what I’ve been working so hard on. So, getting to victory lane, especially this weekend, would be the ultimate win.”


Fourteen points-paying races into the season, how would you assess the No. 41 team right now?

“We’ve grown so much as a team just from Daytona. We’re a tight-knit group and that’s something that’s important to me. The relationships I have with my guys is important because every single person on this team is an intricate part of the process and we all want the same thing – to win. There are always things we can get better at and we will continue to do those things but, as far as our team morale, we all get along great and we all work together great. We’re just putting all the pieces together, now. We’ve had some really terrible luck, but we also have fast racecars and that will transition into what we want as long as we keep fighting for it, and that’s what we’re going to do. There are certainly some races I’ve got circled on my calendar coming up and we’re looking forward to those, too.”




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