Ryan Preece will serve as reserve driver for Stewart-Haas Racing this season while also getting the chance to run races in all three NASCAR series.
The team announced Thursday that Preece would be its default driver should any of the organization’s full-time competitors (Kevin Harvick, Chase Briscoe, Aric Almirola and Cole Custer) be unable to compete due to COVID-19 or other circumstances. A Ford performance driver, Preece will also do simulator work for Stewart-Haas.
“Ryan is a versatile wheelman with a racer’s mentality who fits extremely well within our culture at Stewart-Haas Racing,” said Greg Zipadelli, Stewart-Haas vice president of competition. “Between the amount of testing and development work we’re doing with the Next Gen car this year, his added insights and time in the simulator will make us better by allowing us to learn faster.
“Plus, we’re still dealing with COVID. As much as we all want it to be over, it’s not. We needed a more robust plan in the event COVID sidelines one of our drivers. We have that now with Ryan.”
Preece was left without a NASCAR Cup Series ride when JTG Daugherty Racing downsized to one car after the 2021 season. Preece ran for the organization for three seasons alongside Ricky Stenhouse Jr., earning nine top-10 finishes and two top-five finishes in that time. He finished 27th in the standings last season.
Stewart-Haas has landed 12 races for Preece to run across the three national series in coordination between its company and technical partners. Preece will run two Cup Series races, three in the Xfinity Series and seven in the Camping World Truck Series. David Gilliland Racing will field a truck for Preece.
The Cup Series races are May 1 at Dover and May 29 at Charlotte. Preece’s Xfinity Series starts will be April 2 at Richmond, May 28 at Charlotte, and June 25 at Nashville. In the Truck Series, Preece will run at Las Vegas on March 4, Atlanta on March 19, Darlington on May 6, Texas on May 20, Nashville on June 24, Pocono on July 23, and Kansas on Sept. 9.
“This is a unique setup, but I feel like it provides me with the best opportunity to win races and contribute to a championship-caliber team while expanding my racing experience,” said Preece. “I’m a racer, and Stewart-Haas Racing is a team built by racers. They measure success by wins. Whether I’m in the simulator, in one of their cars, or in a Ford Mustang or Ford F-150 for another team, I’m here to help SHR and Ford win.”
Preece is a two-time Xfinity Series winner and won in his Truck Series debut last season.