Preston followed his dad Jeff -- a 26-year racing veteran – into the sport, as did his brother Randall.
His mom Lisa is the family’s designated scorekeeper and cheerleader.
“Racing has always been part of our family,” says Preston, who has one past Fairgrounds Speedway track championship under his belt and is battling for another this season in the Legends Series.
“It’s something we enjoy together,” he says. “I enjoy the challenge. As soon as I win one, I want to win another.”
He entered this season with high expectations.
“We built a new car during the off-season, but the motor didn’t arrive in time for the first race and we got off to a slow start,” he says. “But we’ve done a pretty good job of catching up.”
Preston has one victory this season, along with a second-place finish. He was leading last week’s race with two laps to go when he got spun out. That set him back to fifth in the point standings.
Jeff, running a limited schedule, is further down in the standings.
Randall is sitting out the season as a driver to assist a friend with his car.
Preston captured the Legends title in 2014 and had a shot at another last year, but missed out due to a scheduling conflict:
“Graduation day at Tennessee Tech came on the same day as the final race, and my mom was determined to see me walk across that stage,” Preston says with a laugh. “That settled that.”
Preston, a Wilson Central High graduate, started racing at Highland Rim Speedway when he was 16. He has spent his career in the Legends Series, but recently took a spin in a Late Model car and is considering eventually moving up to the higher division.
“I felt comfortable in the car, and I think I might like to give it a shot at some point,” he says.
Preston is employed at Fastenal, one of his racing sponsors. Also lending sponsorship support are Quickcar Racing Products, Eagle1 Performance, Agent Automotive and Devo Motorsports.
Preston knows first-hand the frustrations of the sport. Just as happened in his last race, he has lost races he felt he should have won due to other drivers’ errors, or been sidelined by mechanical failures out of his control. But he always bounces back.
"That's the great thing about this sport," Preston says. "You can have a frustrating race or a frustrating season, then come back with a great one. There’s always tomorrow.”
Local drivers: One of the drivers Preston is chasing for the Legends championship at Fairgrounds Speedway is fellow Lebanon racer Hunter Wright, who occupies first place in the standings. Wright also leads the Legends standings at Highland Rim Speedway.
Another Lebanon driver, Cody Fredrick, is 11th in the Fairgrounds Legends points.
Wilson County racers Dylan Fetcho and William Hale are 6th and 7th, respectively, in the Fairgrounds Pro Late Models, and Daryl Quick is 8th in the Sportsman standings.
At Highland Rim Speedway, Quick, of Watertown, is 13th in the Late Model points, trailing another Wilson County racer, Corey Rowland (4th). Troy Hall is 18th. In the Rim’s Pro Late Models, Fetcho and Hale are 3rd and 6th. Rick Rowland is 6th in the Pro 4s followed by Corey Rowland (7th) and Peyton Hamlett (11th).
Brian Sevier is 11th in the Pure Stocks and Michael Forsythe 3rd in Road Warriors. Information about race schedules, times and tickets is posted on the tracks’ websites.