Ryan Preece is moving up to NASCARâ€™s highest level.
JTG Daugherty Racing announced the Berlin native will drive the teamâ€™s No. 47 Chevrolet next year in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. His first start for the company will be at the Daytona 500 on Feb. 17, 2019.
â€śIt has taken a couple days to really digest all of what is happening,â€ť Preece wrote on Twitter. â€śThanks for all the texts & tweets. It really has been a journey. There [have] been many times in which I didnâ€™t know what to do or how to get here. One thing I was certain of tough, was I needed to win. That if I won, the prices of the puzzle would come together and things would fall in place.
â€śThank you Tad & Jodi Geschickter, Brad Daugherty, & Gordon Smith. You are giving me a true opportunity to continue to reach my goal. You finally gave [me] that final piece to finish this puzzle.
â€śNow we start the real work. I look forward in being a part of JTG Daugherty Racing & working to help Chris & myself achieve goals throughout the 2019 season.â€ť
Preece will succeed AJ Allmendinger, the teamâ€™s No. 47 driver the last five seasons, and will be a teammate to Chris Buescher in JTG Daughertyâ€™s two-car.
The 27-year-old has driven on a part-time basis for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series - the sportâ€™s second tier - the last two seasons. In that span, heâ€™s collected two victories - last season at Iowa Speedway and earlier this year at Bristol Motor Speedway. Heâ€™s scheduled to run the majority of the races left in the season in JGR equipment.
Preece made five starts in NASCARâ€™s top division in 2015 for car owner Mike Curb. He then spent 2016 racing full-time in the Xfinity Series for JD Motorsports and finished 17th in the series standings.
Preece has also started 10 of the 14 events this year on the Whelen Modified Tour, where he has two victories and six top-five finishes. Heâ€™s also competed in the majority of the Modified Tourâ€™s races this season, locking up two wins (at Stafford and Langley) in eight starts.
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