Ryan Preece has been cleared to race in this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway after his crash at Daytona International Speedway last weekend, Stewart-Haas Racing announced Friday.
Preece barrel-rolled down the back straightaway at Lap 155 of Saturday night’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona, tumbling 10 times before coming to a rest on his wheels. Preece exited the No. 41 Ford under his own power with assistance from safety workers and was kept overnight at Halifax Medical Center for further evaluation before being released the next morning.
“I’m good. It’s been quite a week, that’s for sure. But definitely, definitely really excited to have been given the OK to race this weekend at Darlington,” Preece told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Friday morning. “Because there’s nothing that I love more than my family and racing race cars. So to be able to go to Darlington this weekend and race with my 41 team, we’re excited and ready to get back out there.”
The NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs are set to begin with Sunday’s Cook Out Southern 500 (6 p.m. ET, USA, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, NBC Sports App). Preece finished 15th at the 1.366-mile oval earlier this season. Preece did not qualify for the playoffs and enters 26th in the points standings.
“I was ready to go do tests and everything on Sunday, you know, to make sure I was cleared. But we wanted to go through all the steps and we did it twice, just to make sure there were no symptoms that appeared later in the week. And everything’s good. I feel great, no concussion and I’m ready to get out there and go race,” he said. “That just goes to show the amount of work that NASCAR has really been doing to keep improving this race car and obviously having that car at the R&D Center, they’re gonna look over and continue to work to make it even safer. I’m not downplaying the wreck by any means, because it was certainly probably the biggest wreck I’ve ever taken in my career, but I’m sitting here, I’m talking to you guys right now. There’s nothing stopping me from racing this weekend. And I’m really ready to get to Darlington.”
The Connecticut native returned to full-time Cup Series action this season for the first time since 2021. He spent three seasons driving for JTG Daugherty Racing before the organization scaled back to one car for the 2022 season. Preece joined SHR during that offseason and served as the program’s simulation driver until the team opted to put him into the No. 41 Ford this year.
Preece scored his best finish of the year in the July 30 race at Richmond Raceway, where he finished fifth. He also scored a Busch Light Pole Award in the spring race at Martinsville Speedway.