Preece was announced last week as one of the 2013 NASCAR Next drivers. The NASCAR Next program began in 2011, and is a way to help spotlight up-and-coming drivers from around the world. This year's elite drivers range from ages 15 to 24 and represent three different countries.
At just 22 years of age, the Connecticut native has already finished as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Championship runner-up on two occasions. In addition, he has 12 pole awards and five wins. Currently, he is tied for the Whelen Modified Tour point lead, in addition to leading the points at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway.
"This is a great opportunity for my career to be teaming up with Tommy Baldwin Racing,” said Preece. “To be given a chance like this is surreal and I plan to make the most of it. Hopefully, we can have a solid day and good things will come from this. Thanks to all my sponsors, teams, and fans for all support at the NASCAR Short Tracks who have carried me thus far. Without all of the support from my family and everyone behind me, I would not be who I am today."
East West Marine owner Brian Slaga has sponsored Preece for several years, and will be represented on the No. 8 Chevy with Tommy Baldwin Racing. East West Marine is a supplier of marine lumber and timber, vinyl seawall, composite sheet pilings, and many varieties of seawall accessories.
"Ryan runs in a lot of different series throughout the Northeast and we try to support all his efforts,” said Slaga. “Ryan is a great ambassador for East West Marine and we are extremely proud to have him representing us.
“Tommy and I had spoken earlier in the year about possibly doing something with Ryan in 2014, but when he called me a couple of weeks ago and presented the opportunity for Ryan to make his Nationwide debut this year, it was an easy decision for us to jump on board and support that. East West Marine is very excited to be partnered with TBR in getting Ryan's career to the next level."
Team owner Tommy Baldwin said, "I am excited to have Ryan Preece in our No. 8 Nationwide Chevy in New Hampshire. Watching Ryan's career grow over the years, mixed with my continued support of the Northeast racing community, have all combined to give us this opportunity to put Ryan in the car. I am really looking forward to seeing him take to the track at Loudon!"