MADISON, Ill. – Set to embark on his third career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start, veteran race car driver Chad Finley and his Chad Finley Racing (CFR) hope for a monstrous return in Saturday night’s Villa Lighting delivers the Eaton 200 at Gateway (Ill.) Motorsports Park.
A regular on the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards tour, the Dewitt, Michigan native and crew chief Bruce Cook load up and head to Gateway looking for a top-10 finish in the first of a limited Truck Series schedule this season.
“I’m very thankful for this opportunity to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Saturday night,” said Finley who last competed in the Truck Series in 2015. “This is a huge chance for our race team to make some noise and compete for a strong finish.
“I really think we have the capabilities to come off the hauler pretty strong and show everyone we’re a serious contender.”
Joining the No. 42 Michigan-based team for Saturday night’s 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 returns to the series for the first time as a team partner since the 2011 Truck Series season with Matt Lofton at the controls.
“I’m really grateful to have this opportunity to welcome back Strutmasters.com on board with our team at Gateway,” added Finley. “They came on board for the ARCA race at Michigan and while we had a fast car – we had some back luck and didn’t get the finish we were hoping for.
“This is an opportunity for us to get that second chance and show them what we’re capable of. Bruce (Cook, crew chief) is a really smart guy when it comes to these Trucks and he feels confident that we can go out there and be competitive from the get-go.”
Competing in a Truck Series race for the first since Chicagoland Speedway nearly three years ago, Finley hasn’t finished higher than 21st in a race. However, Finley is confident that all the ingredients are together to make his return more impressionable.
“There’s going to be a lot of factors this weekend,” added Finley. “From stage racing to heat to even learning this new truck, I know the odds are going to be stacked against us, but I believe we’ve shown time and time again that our team thrives under pressure.
“We’ll see how practice goes, regroup and focus on qualifying. Getting into the show is our main goal. We think we should be able to do that. Once that’s off our plate, we’ll turn our concentration to the race.
“If we can stay on the lead lap, keep our nose clean and make adjustments throughout the race, I think a top-10 is realistic and something to build on for our next race.”
Auto Value Certified Service Centers and Air Lift Company will serve as additional marketing partners for Saturday night’s race.
Furthermore, Finley has support from Northsidetowing.net and XLT Engineering as well.
In addition to his two 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 Villa Lighting delivers the Eaton 200 (160 laps | 200 miles) is the 10th of 23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races on the 2018 schedule. Practice begins on Fri., June 22 from 2:35 p.m. – 3:25 p.m. A second practice session is set for 4:35 p.m. – 5:25 p.m., while a rare third practice run has been etched in from 6:35 p.m. – 7:25 p.m. Qualifying is set for race day, Sat., June 23 beginning at 4:45 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 7:30 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are local (Central).
For additional information on Chad Finley and his race team please visit ChadFinleyRacing.com.
Follow Chad Finley on Twitter @Chad_Finley.