● Welcome Mohawk Northeast Inc. to the No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) Ford Mustang family. A longtime supporter of Ryan Preece, Mohawk Northeast will bring their blue, white, and red colors to Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway this weekend to kick off their NASCAR Cup Series partnership. This weekend marks the first of three northeast region races that they will be the primary partner of for Preece. Mohawk Northeast Inc. is one of the premier heavy-civil contractors in the Northeast. Since 1967 Mohawk has been providing the highest-quality construction services to a wide variety of clients. Specializing in heavy highway, railroad, movable and fixed bridges, and marine construction; Mohawk has completed countless projects within the industry safely, on time, and within budget. Mohawk has the ability to self-perform all phases of construction including electrical, mechanical, structural steel repair and erection, deep foundations, pier and bulkheads, fabrication and coating (AISC & SSPC Certified), and a wide range of marine services. With an extensive fleet of cranes, barges, offshore tugboats, and many other pieces of heavy equipment, Mohawk is a well-established leader in Heavy Civil Construction. Clients include, U.S. Navy, U. S. Coast Guard, USACE, General Dynamics – Electric Boat, Connecticut DOT, Massachusetts DOT, New York DOT, Metro North Railroad, Amtrak, and various private sector clients.
● We’re heading north this weekend to Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway for the Würth 400 on Sunday, April 30 at 2 p.m. EDT on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Preece has a strong following in the north thanks to his Connecticut upbringing. In total, Preece has six Cup Series starts at the Delaware track with a best finish of 18th coming in 2021. This weekend’s race will mark his first Cup Series start with SHR. In three Xfinity Series start at the track, he has one top five and one top 10 to his name. He started 11th in 2018 for Joe Gibbs Racing and finished fourth.
● The series took to the high banks of Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway last weekend, the home of Preece’s best Cup Series finish in 2019. He qualified 16th and rallied back after falling off pace in the opening laps of the race to finish ninth in Stage 1. In Stage 2, Preece worked his way back up to the front and finished seventh, gathering more stage points for the No.4 1 team. Unfortunately, he was once again victim of being in the wrong place at the right time and was swept up in a wreck during the race’s first NASCAR Overtime attempt. He ultimately finished with a 34th-place result.
● Preece is coming into his own this season, showing speed on a variety of tracks the series has visited and running up front during multiple events. He had a career weekend at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway a few weeks ago, winning his first Cup Series pole and leading a career-high 135 laps. Preece and the No. 41 team suffered a pit road speeding penalty that ultimately set them back for the remainder of the race. Preece was credited with a 15th-place finish there.
● Ten races into this season, Preece is 28th in the driver standings with 149 points.
● Preece kicked off the 2023 season with a strong showing at the L.A. Coliseum, leading a race-high 43 laps, and ultimately finished seventh after a fuel pump issue. In the next nine points-paying events, he has a best finish of 12th at Phoenix Raceway in March.
● RaceChoice.com, a proud partner of Preece, has launched a special racing experience giveaway for fans. The winner will receive airfare and a two-night stay in Daytona Beach. RaceChoice.com will also give the winners two pit passes for the Saturday night race on August 26 at 7 p.m. ET, preceded by a meet-and-greet with Preece, driver of the No. 41 SHR Ford Mustang. Visit https://racechoice.com/2023-daytona-giveaway/ for more information.
Really strong run last weekend at Talladega last weekend until a wreck at the end of the race, what can you take with you from the weekend?
“Yeah, I mean, it’s always great to get stage points and we got them in both stages on Sunday. Points are great and they’re huge when it comes to this points system and the playoffs. Man, I just want our luck to turn around. We wanted to be up there at the end and I think we deserved to be. We had a fast racecar, and we were in it all day long until that ending. We were just in the wrong place there and there was no way to finish out the race then. It’s unfortunate but we’ve moved on and are looking forward to Dover.”
You’ve had some strong runs the last couple of weeks and have really shown what this 41 team is capable of, how much does that motivate you heading into this weekend’s race?
“I’ve always said that you have to start with top-15s or top-10s – consistently running there – then top-fives and chasing wins. I feel like, especially the past four weeks, we’ve been putting races together to have opportunities like that. And just at the end of the race, a lot of things, chaos just breaks out, and sometimes you’re the bug and sometimes you’re the windshield. Ultimately, it’ll be nice when we’re the windshield and not the bug. But I’m proud of the fact that our team, our pit crew – everybody – including our engineers, are working together. It doesn’t always take the fastest car to win anymore. Now it takes execution. That’s something I know that I’ve been focusing on for the past week or so and really just turning my attention more to the little details that it takes to make sure that when Lap 380 is there, you’re still giving yourself an opportunity to have a chance at it.”
You have experience at Dover in your career and you ran the Cup race at the track last season, does that give you any leverage?
“I really enjoy Dover and one of the best parts of it is that it’s a little bit closer to home for me. There’s a sense of familiarity and I love coming from the northeast, so I get excited about heading up there for Dover and other tracks in the area. This is actually a race that I’ve been stressing to Chad (Johnston, crew chief) about. I really felt like we had such a great race car last year. We just never got track position, and we actually had a tire go down a couple times. Then, I believe, when AJ (Allmendinger) lost a tire during the green flag pit cycle, we lost a lap or two and it just kind of put a damper on our day. But from a speed standpoint, we were really fast in practice and had a great race car. I feel like some of the baseline of what we decided to take for this weekend strongly goes off that, and I have high expectations.”
What kind of racing are you expecting this weekend now that we’ve gotten to test the short-track program a few times so far this season?
“Our cars have been really fast at short tracks this year and I’m a short-track guy so really the most important thing for us is going to be assessing the car during practice and having a strong qualifying run. As you all know, it’s Dover, it’s April and it tends to rain a lot up there. So hopefully we can at least get practice and qualifying in – or something for us – and not have to start 30th and work our way up the entire race. That’s the hardest part about these races when we don’t get to put ourselves in the right position from the start. I’m really excited about what we’ve been able to do at these racetracks so far this season and I think this weekend will be a really good one for us. We’ve been working hard on putting everything together and this is one where I think we can emphasize on our strengths. We just want to stay out of trouble because that’s been our crutch this season, we just keep getting caught up in things that ultimately end our run.”