Ryan Preece Denies Intentionally Mirroring Alex Bowman’s NASCAR Career Path at Hendrick Motorsports

Published 01/12/2022, 2:18 AM EST
AUSTIN, TEXAS – MAY 23: Ryan Preece, driver of the #37 Louisiana Hot Sauce Chevrolet, waits on the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series EchoPark Texas Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas on May 23, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)


When the 2022 NASCAR Series season kicks off, Ryan Preece and Matt DiBenedetto will be following different paths. Preece recently signed with Stewart-Haas Racing as a reserve driver. Meanwhile, DiBenedetto is moving to the Truck Series to compete for the upcoming season. On an interesting note, current Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman was originally the reserve driver.

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However, Preece has insisted that he is not taking a page out of Bowman’s book. He acknowledged that his 2022 absence could potentially derail his career. Despite that, he would like to think positively and hope for the best. Looking back, he was quite appreciative of his three-year stint at JTG Daugherty Racing. The driver declared that he liked having people around him that pushed him to be better.

“I didn’t choose this path because it worked out for Alex,” Preece said. “We had different paths and had different opportunities, but we had the same road of fighting and clawing for everything we had. I did this because I felt like it was the best move for myself to win races and give myself the best opportunity.”

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Ryan Preece will be aiming to be back on the grid in 2023

Admittedly, it may be difficult for the 31-year-old to race this year. He can only make an appearance if one of the Stewart-Haas Racing drivers is unfit to race. Another option is if the SHR team pulls some strings and helps him land a seat in an associate team. There are a couple of teams that have partnered with the organization, so they could be an option.

ELKHART LAKE, WISCONSIN – JULY 04: Ryan Preece, driver of the #37 Maxwell House/Kroger Chevrolet, waits on the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Jockey Made in America 250 Presented by Kwik Trip at Road America on July 04, 2021 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)ry

Finally, Preece could simply be patient and wait for a free SHR seat to open up for him. Considering that Aric Almirola has announced his retirement at the end of 2022, the driver may not have to wait long. Before then, he will be hoping to get a chance to run in the odd race or two before the 2023 campaign.

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Dhruv George

12531 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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