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Ryan Preece Driving SHR No. 41 in 2023, Cole Custer Back to Xfinity

Ryan Preece has been promoted to Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 41 in the NASCAR Cup Series for 2023, SHR announced Nov. 16.

Preece replaces Cole Custer, who has been in the ride for the past three seasons.

The move follows reports that team co-owner Gene Haas wanted Custer to remain in the ride, while Tony Stewart wanted to place Preece in the ride. In the end, Stewart won out.

“This is the opportunity I’ve been working for,” Preece said in a statement. “Nothing was guaranteed at the start of this year, but I felt like if I put in the time, whether it was in a race car or in a simulator, that SHR was the place for me. It’s a company built by racers, for racers, and it’s exactly where I want to be.”

See also
2-Headed Monster: Cole Custer or Ryan Preece - Who Should Drive the No. 41 car in 2023?

Preece spent time between all three series in 2022, making two starts in Cup, three in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and 10 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He earned a win in Trucks at Nashville Superspeedway with David Gilliland Racing. He also was the reserve driver for SHR during the season.

The 32-year-old has been in Cup before, running for JTG-Daugherty Racing from 2019-2021. He earned two top fives, nine top 10s and a best points finish of 26th in those three seasons.

“Ryan Preece has been a real asset to our race team this year as we’ve developed the Next Gen car,” Stewart said. “The time and effort he’s put into our program, combined with his real-world racing experience, earned him this opportunity.”

Custer will return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series in a second car for SHR, who already fields an entry for Riley Herbst. Custer has 10 wins in the series, including one he earned in 2022 at Auto Club Speedway with SS Green Light Racing.

Sponsors for both and Custer’s number are to be announced.

About the author

Luken Glover arrived on the Frontstretch scene in 2020. He has been an avid NASCAR fan for the majority of his life, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, who used to help former team owner Junie Donlavey in his garage. Glover covers news for the site and took over "The Underdog House" column in 2021. In addition to being a college junior, his hobbies include volunteering at church, playing basketball and tennis, racing go-karts, and helping at his high school alma mater.

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Steven

Glad to see Preece finally get a competitive Cup ride. He certainly has paid his dues and much more.
How many of the rich punks out there buying rides these days know anything about setting up racecars? I’m sure Tony knows Ryan’s potential to win, and that’s what ifs all about.

Jake

Another win for a real racer and not Daddy’s money racing.

DoninAjax

Talent finally wins out!

Johnny Cuda

Great news for Ryan. I watched him up here at Thompson Speedway in Connecticut racing modifieds. The kid is a racer!

kb

Custer sucked. But time will tell what this guy can do in CUP. Time will tell.

TD

Not much of an improvement. Still be a back marker.

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