Story By: SCOTT RUNNING / STAFFORD MOTOR SPEEDWAY – STAFFORD SPRINGS, CT – After a strong performance in the 50th Annual NAPA Spring Sizzler back in April, Ryan Preece will return to Stafford Speedway this Friday, June 10th for the Bud Light Open 80 with a new car.
Preece raced the famous #3 Ole Blue car owned by the Boehler family in the Sizzler® but is putting together a new Fury chassis #40 car that will carry sponsorship from CBYD 811, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Sign Pro, and Falmouth Ready Mix for the Bud Light 80. Preece feels confident coming back to Stafford despite the fact that he returns with a new car.
“As far as it being a new car, it’s not like I’m reinventing the wheel here,” said Preece. “It’s pretty similar to what I’ve driven before so it comes down to time and making sure everything is right. There are some unknowns but I feel confident having a notebook to work with and things I’ve been working on to make the car better. Over the course of the last year we’ve been a contender every time we showed up, we’ve just had issues with tire wear and being a little too aggressive on some things. Jumping in the 3 car gave me a feeling of what I used to remember and taking some of the things we did with that car and carrying that over to what we’re doing now is going to help make everything better.”
One thing Preece will definitely have in the back of his mind is a strategy of tire management during the Bud Light 80. The race will be 20 laps shorter than the NAPA Spring Sizzler®, with teams getting a smaller allotment of tires for qualifying and the race.
“I don’t see us changing things very much,” said Preece. “I feel like Hoosier has a great tire and these races are long enough that strategy will come into play and you need to be aware of tire wear. It’s exciting and that’s the reason why I come to these races. You have to figure out what tires are going on each corner of the car, when you’re going to pit, when it is too early or too late to pit, so there’s a lot going on. Between the heat race and the feature, you can burn the tires off in about 20 laps so it’s all about management. Speed is everything and if you have speed in your car, it makes managing the tires that much easier. It’s a brand new car but it’s the same stuff I’ve been running in the past, we just have to make sure everything is right on the car.”
Preece figures he’ll have to contend with the usual cast of front runners when the open modifieds come to Stafford in order to take the checkered flag in the Bud Light 80.
“It’s going to be the normal guys who are always up front at Stafford,” said Preece. “I know Woody [Pitkat] has a good program and Ronnie Williams with Adam Skowyra have done a really good job over the past season so I feel like it’ll be the normal guys fighting it out. That’s where it will come down to pit stops and the tire management part and making sure your car is fast. You definitely can’t luck into anything at Stafford.”
The 5th Annual Bud Light 80 is scheduled for this Friday, June 10th. Stafford’s SK Modified®, Late Model, SK Light, Limited Late Model, and Street Stock divisions will join the Open Modifieds in feature action. Tickets for the Bud Light 80 are available now online at StaffordSpeedway.com/tickets and tickets will also be available for purchase at the admission gates. Tickets for the Bud Light 80 are $30.00 for adults, $10.00 for kids 6-14, and free for kids 5 & under. Reserved seating is priced at $35.00 for all ages and pit passes are $45.00 with a valid 2022 Stafford Competition License and $50.00 without a Stafford license. If you are unable to attend the event, tune into the live stream on FloRacing, the official streaming partner of Stafford Speedway.