NASCAR Cup Series regular Ryan Preece dominates ARCA Menards Series West General Tire 200
NASCAR Cup Series regular Ryan Preece took full advantage of the opportunity to gain experience at Sonoma Raceway in preparation for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 by starting from the pole and then dominating Friday’s ARCA Menards Series West General Tire 200.
Preece and the No. 9 Stewart-Haas Ford was the class of the field on the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course, crossing the finish line 9.675 seconds ahead of NASCAR Xfinity Series regular Sammy Smith. Fellow NXS competitor Riley Herbst was third, while ARCA Menards Series West regulars Jack Wood and William Sawalich finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
“Laps mean a lot, especially now in today’s world of racing,” said Preece. “You don’t get much practice, so any opportunity you can to get in the seat, you take.”
“I feel like, as a Cup driver, you’re expected to win, right? Even though I don’t have a lot of road course experience, I felt like I had to win today.”
“Road racing is a totally different art. AJ Allmendinger comes to mind: when you look at him as someone who really set the bar and how much he can get out of a road race car. Today I had a really good race car. I was able to just work on me to find little things and I feel that was extremely beneficial for tomorrow and Sunday.”
Preece earned the pole position earlier in the day with a qualifying lap of 79.4 seconds at an average speed of 90.215 mph. He led the field to green and paced the first 18 laps before pitting under the day’s third of six cautions, relinquishing the lead to series points leader Landen Lewis.
Lewis kept his No. 17 Steve McGowen Motorsports Chevrolet at the point until a slow pit stop under caution on Lap 32 provided Preece with the opportunity to retake the lead.
It was a lead the Berlin, Conn., native wouldn’t relinquish over the final 29 laps.
Series point leader Landon Lewis led multiple laps in the first half of the race, but a multi-car crash ended his day on Lap 46 with a 19th-place finish.
NASCAR Cup Series regular Kyle Larson was the quickest in practice for Sonoma Raceway’s inaugural NASCAR Xfinity Series DoorDash 250. The Elk Grove, Calif., native and 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Champion steered the No. 17 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to a lap of 79.255 seconds at 90.392 mph. Qualifying for the DoorDash 250 is Sat., June 10 at 12 p.m. PT.
Saturday’s on-track schedule is highlighted by the NASCAR Xfinity Series DoorDash 250 (coverage begins at 5 p.m. PT on FS1, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Ch. 90, and PRN) as well as qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350.
Tickets for this weekend’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR weekend are on sale now at https://www.sonomaraceway.com/events/tickets.