Ryan Preece wins the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 150 at Richmond Raceway

The No. 6 in Victory Lane
Carol D'Agostino@Skirtsandscuffs.com

At the drop of the green flag of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Richmond Raceway on Friday there was no doubt that history would be made. After all, it was the first time that Richmond Raceway had hosted a Whelen Modified Tour race since 2002.

But the storyline didn’t stop there. The reigning series champ Justin Bonsignore came into the race with a slim 20-point lead over Patrick Emerling, and the red-hot Ronnie Silk was looking to go for three consecutive wins. Joining the Modified regulars were the Ryans from the NASCAR Cup Series – Ryan Newman and Ryan Preece.

And they all started up front: Bonsignore on the pole, Emerling second on the grid with Preece in third. Newman earned the fourth starting spot, but needed to start in the back since he missed the driver’s meeting, and Silk started fifth on the grid.

By about Lap 66, the unthinkable happened – both point leaders suffered mechanical failures, which eventually ended their day, sending them to the garage. First to take a hit was Eberling’s No. 07 which began smoking on the track. Several laps later it was Bonsignore’s turn when his No. 51 car’s top link broke followed by a snapped drive shaft. It looked as though their challenges would end up being a great opportunity for drivers like Ronnie Silk, but it wasn’t to be. Silk had his own struggles to deal with throughout the race which culminated in a late-race wreck.

But when the dust cleared after multiple cautions in the closing laps of the overtime race, Ryan Preece played the role of spoiler, taking his No. 6 car to Victory Lane after leading 98 of the 156 laps. For Preece it was his third win this year in the Modified Tour series.

“We not only had a strong car on the long run, but a strong car on the short run and it just never really fell off, so I think that all played into it,” Preece said.

Bonsignore and Eberling finished 24th and 25th, respectively. Silk finished 19th. 

Jon McKennedy finished second, Ronnie Williams came in third, with Ryan Newman and Doug Coby rounding out the top five.

The Ground Pounders Series travels to Riverhead Raceway in Riverhead, NY, on September 18th for the next-to'the-last race of the season.

A pensive pre-race Ryan Preece with Ryan Newman in the background
Carol D'Agostino@Skirtsandscuffs.com

Ryan Preece wins the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 150 at Richmond Raceway Ryan Preece wins the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 150 at Richmond Raceway Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Saturday, September 11, 2021 Rating: 5