As a young boy growing up in East Tennessee, Chad Finchum of Knoxville would sit glued to the television watching NASCAR racing with his family. He dreamed of someday getting the opportunity to race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Dreams do sometimes come true, and a then 17-year-old Finchum made his Bristol Motor Speedway debut one to remember in the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Widow Wax 125 presented by SealWrap Repair Tape. He started deep in the field in 25th and steadily worked his way to the front for an impressive seventh-place finish, from the 20 cars that wound up on the lead lap when the checkered flag waved over the 35-car field.
Finchum is looking forward to making his second career start at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile” on Saturday, April 18 when he’ll compete in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East PittLite 125.
Finchum is now 20 years old and with back-to-back NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car titles to his credit. He captured the 2013 Kingsport (Tenn.) Speedway and 2014 Lonesome Pine Raceway (Coeburn, Va.) championships, plus earned Tennessee State NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Champion honors in ’13.
Finchum won slightly over 50 percent (19 wins in 37 starts) of races he entered in 2014 at Kingsport Speedway and Lonesome Pine Raceway. Besides the 19 victories he recorded 33 top-five, and 34 top-10 finishes. At season’s end, Finchum ranked fifth in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Top 500 rankings from among over 1,000 drivers across the United States and Canada.
Plans to race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, April 18 for Chad Finchum Racing have developed quickly this week, as the team purchased a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race car.
“I’m very excited to get the opportunity to race again at Bristol Motor Speedway,” said Finchum today from his team’s Knoxville race shop while taking a brief break from working on the race car. “This whole deal has happened quickly. We bought the car yesterday and got it transported back here to our race shop last night.
“We’re a little less than one week before we have to be signed-in for practice and qualifying on Thursday at Bristol, and we’ve got a lot of work to do in getting the car prepared. But I’ve got great confidence in all the guys on our race team that we’ll be able to put the hours in at the shop to get everything completed.”
With the purchase of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race car, the next Late Model Stock Car event for Chad will be in the invitation-only Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown on April 23 at South Boston (Va.) Speedway.
“We said prior to start of this racing season that our goals were to try and move up the racing ladder and run some NASCAR Xfinity Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series or NASCAR K&N Pro Series East events,” said Finchum. “We were down in Florida during Speed Weeks in February and talked with some teams trying to put some deals together, and we had a few good opportunities presented to us. But after talking with the team that had this race car and going up to look it over, we decided to go in a different direction and buy our own K&N Pro Series East equipment and operate it out of our own race shop.
“I realize racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East is a different level than competing in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. But over the last two years racing our Late Model Stock Car, we’ve won 26 races and basically had all top-five finishes. I really believe we’ll be OK atBristol. We’ve got a good Toyota Camry and, we’ll be in the race shop daily working on the car early in the morning and we’ll burn the midnightoil just as late as it takes to get prepared to race at Bristol Motor Speedway. I’m very thankful for the racing opportunities that my parents (James and Linda Finchum) have given me, and I know God has truly blessed me in my life.”
Heading into the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East PittLite 125 at Bristol Motor Speedway, Finchum has nine career series starts, with three top-10 finishes coming at BMS, Bowman-Gray (N.C.) Stadium and Gresham (Ga.) Motorsports Park.
Practice and qualifying at the .533-mile BMS concrete oval on Thursday, April 16 will determine the starting lineup for the Saturday, April 18NASCAR K&N Pro Series East PittLite 125. The event will get the green flag at 4:30 p.m., following conclusion of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Drive to Stop Diabetes 300.
The Chad Finchum Racing No. 17 Toyota Camry at Bristol Motor Speedway will carry sponsorship from Texas Roadhouse, A-1 Finchum Heating & Cooling, and Finchum Paint & Body.
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.