BERLIN - Ryan Preece is not only returning for his second season with Joe Gibbs Racing, the Berlin native will have a new primary sponsor for his No. 18 car in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Joe Gibbs Racing recently announced Craftsman as Preece’s primary sponsor for multiple races in 2018 as well as for Erik Jones in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
“Stanley Black & Decker is not only proud to bring the iconic Craftsman brand to the NASCAR track, but honored to have a talented driver from our headquarters’ neighboring town,” the company said in a release. “Craftsman is a 90-year-old brand built on hard work, integrity and pride. Ryan Preece, who has demonstrated his integrity and determination, is a perfect addition to represent this brand.”
Preece will debut the Craftsman No. 18 Toyota Camry Saturday at the Watkins Glen International with the race set to start at 3 p.m. on NBC.
“I’m very excited to be racing and representing the Craftsman brand,” Preece said in a statement. “I grew up watching what was then the Craftsman Truck Series and as I grew older, I started using Craftsman tools. To represent an iconic tool company like Craftsman is very special to me and I know we will have the same reliability in our Camry’s that they have in their tools.”
Preece will share the ride with Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch, Daniel Suarez, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Benjamin and others to contend for the 2018 Owner’s Championship with the No. 18 team.
The Berlin native has come quite a long way since began his racing career at 7 years old in quarter midgets.
Riding in national and weekly events over the next four years, the 27-year-old compiled more than 150 wins at Silver City Speedway in Meriden. He went on to compete in the modified circuit for 10 years, where he finished second in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship standings in 2009 and 2012 before claiming his first Series Championship in 2013.
That success led to him being scouted by Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017 and his success has only continued.
In his first year with Gibbs Racing, Preece ran four races in the Xfinity Series competition, earning top-five finishes in every start, including his first-career series win at Iowa Speedway on July 29, 2017.
Now, Preece will look to add to his win total with his new sponsor right from his hometown area.
“Glad to be a part of this,” Preece said on Twitter.