BERLIN, CT :: The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour heads to the tight quarter mile of Riverhead Raceway on Long Island this week for the Hoosier Tire 200 much to the delight of defending WMT champion, Ryan Preece.

Preece is a four-time winner at Riverhead and has won the last three Riverhead WMT races in a row. His three straight wins has him tied with Mike Ewanitsko for the most consecutive WMT wins in Riverhead history. Ewanitsko won the second race in 1997 and both races in 1999. Preece won the September race in 2012 and both races in 2013.

Breaking Ewanitsko’s record would mean a lot to Preece, and not only because it’s another record he can claim.

“Ever since I’ve been on the Tour I’ve been surrounded by people that were involved with Mike,” said Preece. “I heard a lot of great things about him and I’ve actually been fortunate enough to meet him. He did a lot behind the wheel of a Modified. To be able to tie him… that was awesome. To possibly break his record that would be awesome.”

Ewanitsko said he’s been hearing Preece’s name since he was just a kid racing quarter midgets. He said that if the record has to fall, he’d be glad it was Preece.

“If anybody is maybe gonna break that record at least it’s someone I’ve been friends with and talk to,” said Ewanitsko. “And the kid deserves it. We were on top of our game when we were winning races at Riverhead. And needless to say he’s on top of his game now.”

Preece knows that winning a fourth race in a row won’t be an easy task. Last June Preece started up front, but had to pit for a flat tire, rally from the back, and beat Ted Christopher and Eric Goodale on two green-white-checkered attempts.

“We’ve won one from the front and we’ve won one coming from the back,” he said. “It’s all in how the race plays out. I think we’ll have a strong enough car to do it.”

Riverhead couldn’t come at a better time for Preece who has struggled so far in his title defense. He currently sits 12th in points and his best finish of sixth came last race at the Waterford Speedbowl. He’s hopeful that this is where he and his team start to turn things around.

“I thinking so and hoping so,” he said. “We are going back to a track where it seems it’s definitely one of my best tracks on the Whelen Modified Tour if you look at the stats.”

Preece said that not only is Riverhead one of his best tracks, but it’s also one of his favorites. He’s a big fan of running bullring race tracks and he runs weekly at Riverhead for Bill Park when there isn’t a WMT conflict.

“I like those type of race tracks where you’re really up on the wheel and you’re constantly working hard,” said Preece. “I’m the type of person that never gives up until the checkered flag waves. You can count on me doing everything I can to get to the front and try to win that race.”