Being on Stewart-Haas Racing‘s payroll since January has brought plenty of speculation that Preece is the likely heir to the No. 10 Ford that will be vacated by Aric Almirola at season‘s end.

Preece affirmed nothing is signed for his racing future in 2023 or beyond. But there is optimism.

“Here‘s what I can tell you: I can tell you that I feel as confident as ever that partners and all these things could come together and it will be a great fairytale ending for myself,” Preece said. “But at the same time, there‘s nothing, certainly by any means, on paper. And until all the stars and all those things align, I have absolutely nothing right now. It takes everything to fall into place.”

The biggest piece to align remains sponsorship. While Preece‘s potential ascent to the No. 10 car — a ride that Almirola has wheeled to two Cup Series victories — seems like an obvious dot to connect, nothing can be guaranteed without corporate partners attaching themselves to him or the vehicle.

That‘s where Kevin Harvick, Preece‘s quasi-teammate, comes further into focus. Harvick‘s management company, KHI Management, represents Preece and has parlayed existing partners like Hunt Brothers Pizza toward Preece‘s current deals.

—- NASCAR.com

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