NASCAR: Ryan Preece to return to JTG Daugherty Racing in 2021

Ryan Preece is set to return to JTG Daugherty Racing behind the wheel of the #37 Chevrolet in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season.

Despite rumors that the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season would be his last with the team, Ryan Preece is set to return to JTG Daugherty Racing next year for a third season overall and second season behind the wheel of the #37 Chevrolet.

Preece finished in 26th place in the championship standings in his rookie season in 2019 and dropped to 29th in his sophomore season with 18 fewer points (495 vs. 477).

But he picked up the pace toward the end of the year after a disappointing start which led to many speculating that he would be replaced.

Here is what Preece had to say about returning to JTG Daugherty Racing for a third year in 2021 in an interview with SiriusXM.

“I’m looking forward to it. They always used to talk about sophomore slumps and I think I lived up to that sophomore slump. That was just pretty terrible. So, moving forward, definitely excited to be back and continue on.”

Preece is set to return alongside Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who is set to be back behind the wheel of the #47 Chevrolet for the second year.

In the season’s first 28 races, the 30-year-old Berlin, Connecticut native finished no higher than 12th place. He was beaten by teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in 18 of the 26 regular season races and recorded just seven top 20 finishes in those 26 races.

But during the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs playoffs, he beat Stenhouse six times in 10 races.

He racked up eight top 20 finishes in those 10 events, including two top 10 finishes in a three-race span, a ninth place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway and 10th place finish at Talladega Superspeedway.

He ended the season with 15 top 20 finishes, bettering his mark of 11 from his rookie year.

In 2019, he recorded three top 10 finishes, including a career-high third place finish at Talladega Superspeedway. He also finished in eighth at Daytona International Speedway and seventh at Michigan International Speedway.

The 63rd annual Daytona 500 is scheduled to open up the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season on Sunday, February 14. Preece crashed and finished in 29th place in the 2020 Daytona 500 after finishing in eighth in 2019.