Adam Richins

Ryan Preece rallies with ‘razzle dazzle’ to win Modified Tour race at Stafford

A familiar face graced Victory Lane once again at Stafford Motor Speedway.

For the ninth time in his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour career, Ryan Preece was the victor at Stafford, outlasting points leader and defending champion Justin Bonsignore for his second consecutive and overall victory of the 2021 season.

“Gotta pull the ‘ole razzle dazzle,” Preece joked on NBC Sports’ TrackPass following the 30th annual GAF Roofing 150 Presented by Riverhead Building Supply. “We had a really good race car, that’s what it takes to win races.”

RELATED: Full race results

Preece led the opening 107 circuits from the pole before surrendering the lead to Doug Coby. Six laps later, a long-but-strategic pit stop relegated him to seventh. After a few more cautions and subsequent restarts, Preece found himself ready to pounce on eventual second-place finisher Bonsignore for the lead and completed the pass for the win with eight laps remaining.

The win comes just over two weeks following the Berlin, Connecticut, native’s triumph at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the first of his career at The Magic Mile in the Modified Tour, and is pleased to see the speed in his No. 6 machine resulting in victories after some early season mishaps.

“We started off the year and had a lot of speed,” he said. “Due to my poor decisions, cost us a few races. But I’m glad to see we’re getting some victories now.”

Bonsignore’s runner-up result marks his third straight this season, dating back to New Hampshire and Lancaster. It’s also his third top-three result in his last four trips to Stafford and his fifth career second-place finish at the Connecticut short-track. After finishing 13th at Stafford earlier this season, the driver of the No. 51 now sits 0-for-40 at the famed half-mile in his career.

Jon McKennedy came home a season-best third. Entering the evening a distant third in the points standings, the Chelmsford, Massachusetts, native earned his third top five in 13 career starts at Stafford.

Doug Coby and Ron Silk rounded out the top five finishers, with Woody Pitkat, Patrick Emerling, Ronnie Williams, Eric Goodale and Tommy Catalano completing the top 10.

With another runner-up result, Bonsignore extended his points lead over Emerling with just five races remaining in the season.

Up next for the Whelen Modified Tour is a trip to Beech Ridge Motor Speedway on Aug. 21 for the Rumble at the Ridge 200, the first time in 16 years that the tour has visited the Scarborough, Massachusetts, 1/3-mile.