Preece earns repeat Truck Series win at Nashville

LEBANON, Tenn. — Ryan Preece won for the second straight year at Nashville Superspeedway and gave David Gilliland Racing its second consecutive NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory Friday night.

Preece moved ahead on the final restart with nine laps left and held off fellow Ford driver Zane Smith.

“It was a little closer than I wanted it to be,” Preece said. “Just old tires, the heat cycles. They were chattering. I had clean air, and I put as much dirty air on him (Smith) as possible. I wasn’t going to give it up.”

Cup driver Todd Gilliland won for his father’s team last week in Iowa on the dirt at Knoxville Raceway.

The 31-year-old Preece, from Berlin, Connecticut, is a reserve driver for Stewart-Haas Racing. He’s racing a limited schedule in NASCAR’s top three series.

“I trophy hunt,” Preece said. “That’s all I show up for. But in my position I think we all know it takes a lot of partners to make opportunities like this possible.”

He has made only eight career Truck starts, winning both of the series’ events — and the guitar trophies — on the 1.33-mile oval. He also has won twice on the Xfinity Series.

“We’ve got a second guitar,” Preece said. “I may have to start a band.”

Carson Hocevar was third, followed by Ty Majeski, Stewart Friesen, Christian Eckes, Tyler Ankrum, Max Gutierrez, John Hunter Nemechek and Matt Crafton. Gutierrez, from Mexico, made his his second career start.

Smith leads the series standings, 21 points ahead of Nemechek.

Preece earned a $50,000 bonus as part of the Triple Truck Challenge. Nashville marked the second of three races with the Camping World-backed incentive. The program continues at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on July 9.

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