Ryan Preece will replace Cole Custer behind the wheel of the No. 41 NASCAR Ford Mustang, racing full-time for Stewart-Hass Racing (SHR) in the 2023 Cup Series season.
“This is the opportunity I’ve been working for,” Preece said in a press release. “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. I know this season just finished and most people are looking to take a break, but I can’t wait to get going.”
Preece raced at the Cup Series level twice in 2022, taking command of the No. 15 NASCAR Ford. His best finish was 25th at Dover Motor Speedway in May. He also made 13 starts combined in the Xfinity Series and Truck Series in 2022, and took home the first-place trophy at Nashville Superspeedway in June behind the wheel of the No. 17 Ford F-150 race truck.
Custer drove the No. 41 Mustang for the last three seasons. During his time in the Cup Series, Custer amassed three top-10 finishes and a pole position in 2022 and put the No. 41 NASCAR Ford in Victory Lane at Kentucky Speedway in 2020. He will return to the Xfinity Series level next year to drive a Mustang race car fielded by SHR.
“Cole Custer has been a part of SHR since 2017 and we’re glad to have him stay with us,” SHR co-owner Tony Stewart said. “Cole’s experience will be invaluable to [fellow driver] Riley Herbst as he continues his development in the Xfinity Series.”
Preece will race alongside SHR teammates Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 NASCAR Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mustang. Almirola recently walked back on his retirement decision for 2023 and will continue to drive the No. 10 Mustang for several seasons. Meanwhile, Harvick’s contract is set to expire at the end of 2023, leaving the future of the No. 4 Mustang up in the air.