JTG Daugherty Racing‘s #47 will go from a road course expert to a short track star. On Friday morning, the team announced Ryan Preece will take over the ride, replacing A.J. Allmendinger.
“Really thankful for the opportunity, for being able to race with Tad and Jodi [Geschickter] and Brad [Daugherty] and those guys,” Preece stated in a press conference at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “It’s a dream come true. A lot of you know the path that I’ve gone down and the sleepless nights that I’ve gone through to chase after trophies and win race.”
“To finally get to this level and earn it, it’s really a short tracker’s dream to finally get here and to race for such people with class. It’s a family-owned team and that’s always something I’ve been a part of with different Modified teams.”
The 2013 Whelen Modified Tour champion, Preece has been competing part-time in the Xfinity Series with Joe Gibbs Racing. In nine races with JGR in 2018, he has six top tens, four top fives, and a win at Bristol Motor Speedway. He joined the team in 2017, where he won his first career Xfinity race at Iowa Speedway, after running the full Xfinity schedule in 2016 with JD Motorsports. That year, he finished seventeenth in points with one top ten (tenth at Darlington Raceway).
In 2015, he made his Monster Energy Cup Series debut at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Premium Motorsports, where he finished thirty-second. He ran four more races for the team during the year, but did not improve upon that finish.
“If you’ve been following my Twitter, obviously, I’ve just kind of been throwing up pictures that, yeah, they’ve been wins, but there’s people in the background that have helped me get to the point where I am now. Like I said, I’m very excited for this opportunity. I’m excited to work with Ernie and everybody there. Really pumped, and hopefully we can start out strong and compete for wins.
In over a decade in the Modified Tour, Preece has 22 wins, 76 top fives, 102 top tens, and 16 poles. Driving in a limited 2018 schedule for TS Haulers Racing, he has two wins and six top tens in ten races.
Days prior, the team announced Allmendinger, who had been with the team full-time since 2013, would be departing. Chris Buescher, who currently drives the team’s #37 car, will return for 2019. Allmendinger’s future plans have not been announced.
In addition to the new driver, JTG will be powered by new engines in 2019 as they are switching to Hendrick Motorsports engines. The team currently uses Earnhardt Childress Racing motors.