According to a Bob Pockrass report, Ryan Preece’s No. 37 car for JTG Daugherty Racing may race just part-time in 2021. This has to do with funding and the fact that the team lost their charter over the off-season.
Before 2018, JTG Daugherty bought a three-year charter for the No. 37, guaranteeing entry into all 36 Cup Series points-paying races and funding. However, the team didn’t renew the charter, and Spire Motorsports bought it.
So, Preece will attempt to enter races as an open car. Just eight races have qualifying in 2021, with lineups of the 28 other races being set by performance-based metrics installed in August of 2020.
Why the Daytona 500 is especially important for Preece:
The Daytona 500 could help make or break 2021 for Ryan Preece.
Right now, the team has funding for 24 races in 2021. They are still looking for funding for the final 12 races, but if they can’t get enough funds, the team will have to start skipping races.
Getting the funding needed for the entire season starts in Daytona with how large the purse is for the Daytona 500. If the team finishes well in the Daytona 500, a lot of funding could be taken care of, and he can run more races. In eight career Cup Series plate races, Preece has 3 top-10s, showing to be a strong plate racer despite mediocre equipment.
Additionally, a strong finish boosts his performance-based metrics, making him almost guaranteed to race in events without qualifying.
To have a successful and full 2021 season, Ryan Preece needs a strong finish in the Daytona 500. However, he’ll need to race his way into the field through qualifying and the duel races.