Veteran Team, Driver Join Forces For Next Season
Palmer, MA — Eric Sanderson, owner of the No. 16 Diversified Metals/RB Enterprises/Wales Irish Pub race car, has hired Ryan Preece of Berlin, Conn., as his full-time driver on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour for the 2012 season.
Preece, who finished second in the 2009 NWMT final standings, has three tour wins to his credit, and earned a sixth career pole last weekend in his first-ever appearance with the Flamingo Motorsports team in the Sunoco World Series of Racing 150 at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway.
“Obviously after Thompson I was hoping,” Preece said. “Within ten minutes of when I walked into our meeting Thuesday) I was in the car for next year. I’m really excited that it all came together and that I’m able to drive for crew chief Sly (Szaban) and the entire team.”
“The financial burden is gone. There’s no burden on my parents. It’s me on my own now. I know they have great equipment, so I’m looking forward to it. I’m going to be at the shop helping the team out however I can. This will be a team effort.”
Preece, just one week shy of his 21st birthday, will also race full-time in the SK Modified division at both Thompson and the Stafford Motor Speedway as well in 2012.
His youth and enthusiasm was part of what crew chief Szaban wanted in his driver.
“Ryan is young and aggressive,” Szaban commented. “We were looking to make a change on the team. Mike Stefanik really did a good job for us. We just wanted to make a change and go with somebody young, and obviously he gets the job done too.
“We were looking for a driver that wasn’t all about winning or just about having fun. We think Ryan has all of that. He has a great racing family. They race because they love the sport, and they put a lot into it as a family to get him to where he is. All of the aspects pointed to him.”
Sanderson, Sly Szaban and the entire Flamingo Motorsports team, which last won a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Championship in 2006 with driver Mike Stefanik, is moving forward with Preece and figure to be a contender for the 2012 NWMT Championship.
Sources: Flamingo Motorsports PR