Ryan Preece’s car nearly flipped over from its violent impact with the inside wall on a lap 181 crash Thursday night at Kansas.
Preece tried to avoid Christopher Bell’s spinning car on the backstretch immediately after a restart and simply had nowhere to go. As he cranked his car to the left he ended up in a skid toward the inside wall at a high speed. Preece’s car then hit the wall head-on so hard that it almost started tumbling over.
Thankfully, Preece climbed from his car after the crash and even had the wherewithal to grab his mask from inside the car and put it on before entering the ambulance for the customary trip to the infield care center.
“It’s frustrating for all of us at JTG-Daugherty because we’ve been working really hard and probably had a top-10 car there at the end,” Preece said. “I’m alright, just ready for this year to turn around.”
Yes, Preece definitely needs his year to turn around. The crash was a symbol of his 2020 season.
Preece has finished no better than 25th in any of the last five races. He started first in the second race at Pocono thanks to an invert from the previous race and ended up with that 25th-place finish. Since then, he was 40th and last at Indianapolis, 38th at Kentucky, 40th at Teas and 34th after his Thursday night crash.
He’s crashed out in three of his last four races and that Kentucky finish was due to a transmission issue.
Preece is currently 31st in the points standings and only ahead of Brennan Poole and Quin Houff among drivers who have been in every race. Poole and Houff drive for teams with far worse equipment than Preece does too.
Thursday night was rough for JTG-Daugherty Racing. In addition to Preece’s crash, Ricky Stenhouse finished last after his car had smoke in the cockpit in the first stage.
“A fire started in the cockpit,” Stenhouse said. “Something electrical under the dash. So, it’s a bummer to end the day like that for our Kroger team. I felt like we had a really good shot at a top 10 if we kept dialing our car in.”
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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