NASCAR Next Driver Aims To Make Step Up To National Series
Ryan Preece has racing in his blood.
His family has been involved in auto racing his entire life. It started with his grandfather Bob Judkins, who owned modified cars in Connecticut, and was a crew chief for those cars racing throughout the Northeast.
“It’s always been a family thing,” Preece said. “My father started racing in his twenties, and I’ve been racing since I’ve been able to walk.” He has two older brothers Shaun and Matt, who are both very supportive of his racing prowess. “My Mom Jodi is also very supportive, and my family always goes to all my races.”
Preece, 23, who hails from Berlin, Conn., is one of NASCAR’s up-and-coming young drivers. Last year, Preece became the first modified driver to be select to the NASCAR Next program, an industry initiative designed to spotlight the rising stars in the sport. Since its inception in 2011, the NASCAR Next program has served to elevate the profiles of drivers such as Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Darrell Wallace Jr., Daniel Suarez and Ryan Blaney among the a wave of young talent making its way up the NASCAR ladder.