Preece Wins Abbreviated Bush's Beans 150 Modified Race
The threat of inclement weather moved the victory celebration indoors but Ryan Preece didn't mind a bit.
"Nothing beats this place," the Berlin, Connecticut native said after winning the Bush's Beans 150 on Wednesday at Bristol Motor Speedway. "When you win big races like this, especially at Bristol, the Last Great Colosseum, it's just phenomenal. Now I can say I won at Bristol, baby."
Preece started second in the NASCAR Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tours combination race and was out front when NASCAR officials stopped the event after 103 of the scheduled 150 laps because of threatening weather approaching the track.
Polesitter Woody Pitkat, Donny Lia, Ryan Newman and Bobby Santos rounded out the top five.
The start of the race saw a pile up on the backstretch that red-flagged the race after three laps. It was only a matter of minutes after cars started circling the track under caution that things came to a stop again. This time, the culprit was a rain shower.
Efforts to dry the track continued past 7 p.m. and with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series pre-race ceremonies for the UNOH 200 scheduled for 8 p.m., NASCAR opted to finish the modified race after the conclusion of the Truck Series race.
"We got to the halfway break, put on tires and made adjustments and the car was much better after that," said Preece, who took the lead from Pitkat on a restart after the halfway break. "We really started going up top and making the high line work. I really started to find something with the right front up there. I think that kind of helped us and made for a really good race car here."
The top 10 drivers in qualifying eclipsed Lia's track record of 129.596 mph from 2013.
Pitkat led the way at 130.940 mph to earn his fourth career Whelen Modified Tour pole position and was joined on the front row by Preece, who entered Wednesday trailing Pitkat by one point in the Whelen Modified Tour standings.