With a stellar 23-car field of Wallace Kia Late Model Stocks present, Finchum started the night off by earning his seventh fast-time pole award in 2014 with a quick lap at 15.508 seconds, and then proceeded to lead both twin 35-lap features flag-to-flag to record victories number 11 and 12 on the season.
Finchum jumped out to the lead at drop of the green flag in the first 35 lap Late Model Stock feature and pulled away to comfortably get the win over Lee Tissot, Kres VanDyke, Zeke Shell and Lance Gatlin.
With the roll of the inversion dice being a “two,” Finchum and Tissot just flip-flopped for start of the second race with Tissot on the inside of the front row and Finchum on the outside. Just as he’d done in the first race, Finchum shot out to the lead at drop of the green and never looked back en route to completing the sweep of the night’s racing action with yet another impressive victory over Tissot, VanDyke, Gatlin and Kyle Barnes.
“There’s no doubt about it, we had an awesome race car this past Friday at Kingsport Speedway,” said Finchum today while hanging out in the infield pits at Bristol Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Whelen Modified doubleheader. “As a racer you want to always give it your best effort and, on-track you want to be fastest in qualifying and then try to lead every lap of the feature race, and we accomplished all of that.
“With us setting fast-time to earn our seventh pole award this season, getting to start from inside of the front row and lead all 35 laps in the first race and outrun (Lee) Tissot and (Kres) VanDyke for the win, that was just great. Both of those guys have won races this year and we’re all chasing Kres in the point standings. We were very fortunate after the first race with the roll of the dice to determine the invert for the second race keeping us starting on the front row, outside of Tissot. Just like we did in the opener, we got the lead on the start and stayed there until the checkered flag waved.”
On the season Finchum has recorded six victories at the .375-mile banked concrete oval in the Model City, with 12 top-five finishes (six wins, three third-place, two fourth-place runs and one fifth-place effort) overall, while sitting second in the point standings behind leader VanDyke. Finchum leads the division with six wins.
With Mother Nature having washed out the past couple of racing programs at Kingsport Speedway, the Chad Finchum Racing team led by crew chief Patrick “Dinky” Torbett, used the time to really work on the race car to get it back (performance-wise) like it was prior to the wreck when Finchum was sent crashing into the front-straightaway inside concrete retaining wall off the front bumper of another competitor.
“What many people probably don’t realize is, that hit the race car took when slamming against the concrete wall the night we got wrecked, it was a major impact,” said Finchum regarding the damage to the race car. “The hit bent the front frame of the car over several inches and then the force of the impact on the driver’s side of the car even got the rear section of the frame on the car. I know from a personal standpoint, it was the hardest hit I’ve ever had inside a race car. But with the couple of weeks off from racing due to weather, we worked on the car and took it completely apart because we really needed to get everything put back in place just like it was prior to the wreck.
“We wanted to get some practice laps in on the car prior to racing last Friday, so we made a point to come up on Thursday for open practice and right off I got on the radio and told Dinky the car was good. We didn’t even run but a few laps, too. Then on race day, we backed up our good practice laps by winning the pole position and during the race the car was just a rocket. The only way we were going to lose the race is if something mechanical happened to the car.”
After celebrating at Kingsport Speedway on Friday night, the race team made the haul over into Southwest Virginia to race at Lonesome Pine Raceway in Coeburn on Saturday. Finchum finished second in the first of two twin 35-lap features and brought the car home to a sixth-place run in the second race.
“We were riding an emotional high after winning both races the night before at Kingsport Speedway, but that quickly came to an end,” Finchum said. “After having such a great car at Kingsport, here we go out in the first practice on Saturday at Lonesome Pine Raceway and we lose (blown engine) our motor. I slowly bring the car back into the pits and after I climb out we’re all just shaking our heads in disappointment. It’s just one of those racing deals that you have absolutely no control over.
“With us leading in points, we had to at least start our backup car in both races so we wouldn’t take a big hit in the (point) standings. The engine we have in the backup and really just the car in general, it’s nowhere near on the level as our primary car. To be quite honest, we were very pleased to get a second-place finish in the first race and to salvage the night with a sixth-place run in the second race. We’ll take it and just look ahead. We’re still leading the point standings and we have the most wins, and that’s all that matters.”
Through 11 races this season at LPR, Finchum has recorded six victories with 10 top-five finishes (six wins, two second-place, one fourth-place and one sixth-place effort) overall, while sitting atop the standings with a 16-point advantage over Ryan Stiltner.
In the latest (Aug. 18, 2014) NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national points, Finchum is ninth in the standings ranked among the top 500 in the United States and Canada. Between competing at Kingsport Speedway and Lonesome Pine Raceway, Finchum has recorded 12 total victories and 22 top-five finishes out of 26 starts. To view the NWAAS national points click http://hometracks.nascar.com/
The next NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing action for Chad Finchum Racing will be on Friday, Aug. 29 at Kingsport Speedway and then on Saturday, Aug. 30 the team will journey to Lonesome Pine Raceway.
Chad Finchum Racing, owned by James and Linda Finchum, is headed by crew chief Patrick “Dinky” Torbett (2013 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series UNOH Ultimate Mechanic Challenge Award), with crew members Tony Cordell, Tyler Reed, Eric Romines, J.E. Blankenship, Sam Couch and Jacob Ruble.
Supporters for Chad Finchum Racing in 2014 on the No. 19 Ford Fusion include: A-1 Finchum Heating & Cooling, Texas Roadhouse, Finchum Paint & Body, Loveland Baptist Church, RW Race Engines, Five Star Race Car Bodies, CARS Etc., and Hedgecock (Race Cars) Racing Enterprises.
To learn more about possible sponsor opportunities with Chad Finchum Racing, contact James Finchum at (865) 740-3535. To keep up with Chad Finchum’s racing throughout the season visit his website at www.ChadFinchum19.com or follow him on Twitter @ChadFinchum.