BRISTOL, Tenn. – Still reaping the benefits of their strong NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) performance in June at Gateway (Ill.) Motorsports Park, Chad Finley and his Chad Finley Racing (CFR) head to Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS) hoping to produce back-to-back top-10 finishes in Thursday night’s UNOH 200.
Rewinding back to Gateway, Finley in his No. 42 Auto Value Certified Service Centers | Strutmasters.com Chevrolet Silverado overcame a sour 20th place starting position and utilized the 160-lap race to attack the field and leave his mark.
Finley, an accomplished competitor in the ARCA Racing Series found himself in just his third Truck Series start knocking on the door of his first top-five finish – but had to settle for sixth after an array of late race cautions.
With nearly two months in the books to fine-tune their Chevrolet Silverado, Finley and his crew chief Bruce Cook head to Thunder Valley hoping to impress again.
“Gateway was such a boost for us,” said Finley. “We really had a good truck and I can’t thank Bruce (Cook, crew chief) and the guys on the Chad Finley Racing team for putting their heart and soul into our team. It paid off at Gateway – but we want more this week at Bristol.”
Joining the No. 42 Michigan-based team for the midweek race as a major associate partner 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 joined Finley in his Truck Series return at Gateway.
“I can’t thank Chip (Lofton) and everyone at Strutmasters.com. for jumping aboard for another race,” said Finley. “We’re a small team trying to make big things happen and all of the great support from our partners keeps our team glued together.”
Looking at Thursday’s race, Finley knows that his Bristol debut won’t be easy.
A stacked field means making his fourth career Truck Series start will boil down to thousandths of a second. For the Dewitt, Mich. native, the ability to make the most of the two practice sessions on Thursday morning will provide the beat to the team’s drum for the rest of the day’s activities.
“We have to make sure our No. 42 Auto Value Certified Service Centers Chevrolet is performing at full song by the end of final practice,” added Finley. “I looked at the entry list on Monday and it’s a stout field. One slip and that could be the difference from cranking the engine or sitting on the sidelines.
“I have faith in Bruce and our crew – that we’re going to be just fine. Gateway was a little bit bigger track – where you had some room to get around – but Bristol is a tight race track where it’s practically a constant conveyor belt. We need to qualify good, inside the top-10 actually to put us in a position to likely stay out of trouble and capitalize through the first two stages for the end of the race.
“We finished sixth at Gateway, I’d like to duplicate that or better and we’ll call that a good weekend. From there we can move on to our next planned Truck Series race with me at Martinsville in October.”
Auto Value Certified Service Centers, Strutmasters.com and Air Lift Company will serve as the primary marketing partners for Thursday night’s race.
Finley has additional support from Northsidetowing.net and XLT Engineering as well.
In addition to his three prior Truck starts, Finley, 26, has 20 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards starts to his credit.
In his years of ARCA competition between 2009 and 2018 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 UNOH 200 (200 laps | 106.6 miles) is the 16th of 23 races on the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck schedule. Practice begins on Thurs., Aug. 16 from 9:05 a.m. – 9:55 a.m., while final practice is set for 11:05 a.m. – 11:55 a.m. Qualifying is set for later in the day beginning at 4:10 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 8:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are local (Eastern).
For additional information on Chad Finley and his race team please visit ChadFinleyRacing.com.
Follow Chad Finley on Twitter @Chad_Finley.