BROOKLYN, Mich. – Patiently waiting for his return to the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, former series winner Chad Finley (@Chad_Finley) heads to Michigan International Speedway for Friday afternoon’s ZOMONGO 200 eying his first speedway win.
Jumping aboard his family-owned team’s No. 51 Chevrolet is Strutmasters.com.
Since 1999, Strutmasters.com has served as an industry leader in suspension parts and air to non-air suspension conversion kits.
The Roxboro, N.C. company returns to the series for the first time as a team partner since the 2012 ARCA season with Matt Lofton at the controls.
“We are so excited to welcome Strutmasters.com on board this weekend at Michigan,” said Finley, a native of St Johns, Mich. “We work around the clock to try and bring new partners to our team and we’re glad to make it happen with Strutmasters.com.
“Strutmasters.com is no stranger to ARCA and success in the series. We are hoping we can give them a good finish on Friday and maybe it will turn into more opportunities with them down the road.”
Finley has three prior starts at Michigan International Speedway’s 2.0-mile oval. In his attempts, he has maneuvered one top-five and three top-15 finishes. While running in the top-10 last year, Finley experienced a late-race issue with a tire vibration forcing the team to pit with 10 laps to go which resulted in a 12th-place finish.
“I’ve always enjoyed competing at Michigan,” said Finley who has 11 top-10 finishes in ARCA competition. “It’s a very fast race track. Maybe even faster than the restrictor plate races. You can feel the speed. With that speed must come some balance with our race car.
“We’ve always been able to launch pretty good to start the race – but our biggest challenge will be to keep up with the track changes as it gets closer to dark. Bruce (Cook, crew chief) and I have spent countless amount of time going through all the different scenarios and we have some good ideas on what we need to do this weekend at Michigan.”
Always focused on coming to the race track with the desire to win, Finley says the competition is stiff in ARCA right now and while he believes his family-owned team has the capabilities to disturb the presence of the powerhouse teams, the priority in Friday’s race is to execute a good finish.
“It’s a 200-mile race, so it will go by pretty quick,” added Finley. “We need to have a good run on Friday afternoon. We went to Charlotte a couple weeks ago with Austin Hill and we flexed some speed – but just didn’t have the finish we were looking for.
“Our expectations are pretty high for Friday. We’ll have a lot of guests being a hometown race and some of our marketing partners are nearby. If we can have a good run – we can use that momentum to what is going to be a very busy month of June.”
Auto Value Certified Service Centers and Air Lift Company will serve as additional marketing partners for Finley’s 20th career ARCA race. Along with Northsidetowing.net, XLT Engineering and Jimmies Wrecker Service and Auto Repair as associate partners.
In 19 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards starts, Chad Finley has mounted one-win (Nashville 2017), eight top-five and 11 top-10 finishes, including a pole (track record) at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway in 2009.
Finley is the son of former ARCA winner and NASCAR driver Jeff Finley.
The ZOMONGO 200 (100 laps | 200 miles) is the eighth of 20 races on the 2018 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Fri., June 8 with a two-hour practice session from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. General Tire pole qualifying is set for later in the day at 2:00 p.m. The race is set to take the green flag later in the day shortly after 5:30 p.m. The event will be televised live on MAVTV, while ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities. All times are local (Eastern).
Follow Chad Finley on Twitter @Chad_Finley.