Ryan Preece will replace AJ Allmendinger in the No. 47 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2019, JTG Daugherty Racing announced Friday.
The team announced Tuesday that Allmendinger would finish out the season and not return in 2019. Allmendinger, 37, began driving for the team at Watkins Glen in 2013. His only Cup win in 363 starts came for JTG Daugherty at Watkins Glen in 2014.
“It’s a dream come true. … To finally get to this level and earn it, it’s really a short tracker’s dream to finally get here.” — Ryan Preece (Photo: Brenda Meserve) https://t.co/Zn8ew1pgJC pic.twitter.com/9DujpIaDrP
— RaceDayCT (@RaceDayCT) September 28, 2018
“To finally get to this level and earn it, it’s really a short-trackers’ dream,” Preece said, per NASCAR.com. “To get here and to race for people with such class, it’s a family-owned team and that’s something I’ve always been a part of. Hopefully we can start out strong and compete for wins.”
Preece, who turns 28 next month, made his name in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. He began racing in the series as a 16-year-old and has 22 wins in 155 starts over 12 seasons. He won the 2013 championship and has finished second four times.
Preece has five starts in the Cup Series, all in 2015, for Mike Curb. Preece has two wins in the Xfinity Series driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. His win in April at Bristol made a big impression on JTG competition director Ernie Cope and team owner Tad Geschickter.
“I’m excited,” Cope said, per NASCAR.com. “I started watching him at the end of the year at Homestead, and he drove hard. Watching that Bristol race and watching him go after it and I’m like, ‘This guy is something.’ Then you hear his backstory, and that’s the mold I’m looking for.”
JTG will continue to field two cars in 2019, the team announced. Chris Buescher drives the No. 37 Chevrolet. The team also announced it would move Hendrick engines in 2019.