One of the most anticipated events on the 2020 Martinsville Speedway schedule was unofficially kicked off today when former NASCAR Modified Tour champion and current NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Preece tested his modified car today.
Preece was joined by modified veteran Gary Putnam who also brought his car out to prepare for Ryan Newman to drive in the first race for the modified division since 2010 at Martinsville Speedway.
Preece is already excited to be back at Martinsville in his modified.
“I drove my old box truck through the gate this morning and that was pretty cool,” said Preece. “That is a memory I’ll never forget.
“As far as modified goes, it’s the history the modifieds have at this track … you want to come and race here. (Martinsville) is just a special place.”
Also joining Preece was former Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick, who added this idea to test a modified car was a long time in the making stating that Preece has been talking to him about it for about two years.
“I told Ryan this is his fault,” said Harvick. “I’m taking a lot of grief from my other half, but obviously this is a great experience for me. It’s way outside my normal, everyday routine and things that I’ve raced.
“I’ve never raced anything like this. Just to drive it was a lot of fun for me and it definitely put a smile on my face. It’s definitely a good experience for me.”
Harvick, whose company KHI Management lists Preece as a client, said today was a result of the relationship he started with Preece a while back.
“For me, we’ve had a great relationship that (Preece) started with Stafford Speedway. Between Ryan and Stafford Motor Speedway, that’s why I drove three hours up here today to come up here and do this,” Harvick said.
“I wouldn’t drive it if I didn’t want to race it. Let’s just make that clear. We’ve talked about that. It’s something that will definitely be on my bucket list to go do.”
Tickets to the MAXPRO Windows Films 200 modified race and the first NASCAR Cup Series race under the lights can be purchased by calling 1-877-RACE-TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.
— Martinsville Speedway —