Ryan Preece did what a rookie is supposed to do at Talladega. He stayed out of trouble and finished the race.
And when caution flew on the final lap of the GEICO 500, Preece was running third behind race winner Chase Elliott and runner-up Alex Bowman.
Driving the No. 47 JTG-Daugherty Chevrolet, Preece, a star of the first magnitude in the modified ranks, had his best career finish in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
“It was awesome,” Preece said. “I was only here one other time, and that was in an Xfinity car in 2016, and I was running third with three to go and went for the hole and got flushed. So, I wasn’t going to do that today.
“Ultimately, it was a perfect situation for Chevy there on that restart, being able to line up and push each other and really not give the other manufacturers an opportunity to get by us. So a great day for (sponsor) Kroger and for JTG, and hopefully we can use this momentum moving forward.”