Day Motor Sports Driver Profile: Daniel Preston enjoying big year in South Texas

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Down in the southern part of the state, racers who compete at places like the South Texas Race Ranch, Texana Raceway Park, 105 Motor Speedway and I-37 have their work cut out for them. The competition is stiff, from FWD on up through to Modifieds and Late Models.

For 32-year-old racer Daniel Preston, it’s a region where he can showcase his talents. Preston is enjoying a stellar season, with 12 wins, 36 top-five and 47 top-10 finishes to his credit in 56 starts.  Racing in the Limited Mods and Hobby Stocks has been both rewarding and highly successful.

“Driving the Limited that’s owned by Skip and Cheryl Gray has been wonderful,” Preston said. “I’ve been working with some good people, and that always helps. We started to find some good speed in recent weeks; now we’re just trying to build off of that.

“I also race my own EMod, mostly at the Race Ranch here in Corpus but also every now and then over in Edna. That car is always on the back burner; since I’m always focused on the Limited program. The EMod is pretty quick, but I like to help out my buddies get their programs going any chance I get.”

Now in his seventh year of racing, Preston is a graduate of Karting and paid his dues along the way.

“My family was big into Kart racing back in the 1990s,” Preston said. “I broke my leg pretty early into the game, so I was always the one who got babied. My parents didn’t want me racing any more because of the injury. So I didn’t race at all after that until I got out of college.

“I got into RC cars pretty competitively, and then I started counting the dollars I was spending. It was clear I could have gone out and just bought myself a real race car. So that’s exactly what I did seven years ago, and have been racing full-size cars ever since. It’s been going pretty well for me this year.”

As mentioned above, the level of competition across the board in South Texas is about as stiff as it gets.

“No matter where we unload, there’s always a bunch of heavy hitters to fend off,” Preston said. “Both the Limited Mods and Hobby Stock classes have been super competitive this year. You can’t come in with your guard down; it takes an aggressive style and you really have to get up on the wheel now.”

When Preston puts on his safety suit and gets ready to race, he climbs into a very unique machine.

“My Limited Modified is a Express NG9 chassis owned by Skip & Cheryl Gray,” he explained. “It’s a great car and drives really well. I have a somewhat rare EMod car, it’s a JoJo chassis that was built up in North Texas. It’s a really nice car, and despite being so unique, it’s an extremely well built car.”

Along with his seven years of experience and top-notch race cars, Preston has a long list of sponsors.

“I need thank all of our great partners, including Grays Recycling; Top Hat Signs & Designs; One12 Bodies; Swenson Racing, Ace Machine, Big Dog Racing, Express Racecars, Petronilla Posse, PRP Racing, Jordan Equipment, Wicked Fast Transmissions, MoBags Suspension and my wife’s credit card.

“I also need to thank Paisley’s piggy bank, Mullins Crate Engines, Davis Technologies, Earnhardt Pull Bars, WRT, Rush Racewear by Austin Witt; JoJo Chassis, and my wife, Madison; children Paisley and Asher. Lastly, I’ll thank All the Palls, Brad Waddups, Tj Sullivan, Derrick Gonzalez, Justin Hoffstadt, Charley York, Dalton Ware and Tim Thompson. I appreciate all they do for my program.”

With points races starting to wind down across the state, Preston has a goal for this Fall’s big shows.

“We’re going to try and put our Limited on the Tech Pad at the end of those big Fall races,” he said. “We’ve been gaining some speed here recently, and we’re just going to stay after it. There are a ton of fast cars in South Texas, so it won’t be easy.

“We plan to do the Topless race in December at Corpus; we’ll run The Clash at Texana, the DTK Memorial at I-37, and at OctoberFast at Cotton Bowl Speedway. I don’t think I’m going to be at the Super Nationals next week in Kennedale, since it’s just not practical for us. We have lots of racing left.”

By Phil Whipple, Staff Writer
Photo by Alyssa Kaye Waddups