KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The NASCAR racing season kicks off with Speedweeks each February at Daytona International Speedway. Chad Finchum of Knoxville, Tennessee, can't wait to arrive at the "World Center of Racing" in the Sunshine State because he will be competing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series PowerShares QQQ 300 on Saturday, Feb. 17 driving the No. 40 Toyota for MBM Motorsports.
The dream of someday racing at Daytona International Speedway for Finchum began as a young boy attending NASCAR races at Bristol Motor Speedway with his family.
The Road to Daytona for Finchum started in racing go-karts before moving along to Bandolero, INEX Legend, NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, and NASCAR K&N Pro Series competition - winning not only races, but also championships.
He won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series Pitt Lite 125 at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2016, plus captured the Kingsport Speedway NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Stock Car championship in 2013. He also added to his resume the Tennessee NASCAR Whelen All-American Series state title in 2013.
"Yeah, I guess it can be said that dreams do sometime come true," said a smiling Finchum at his family's race shop in Knoxville. "I told my parents and really everybody, from just when I was a young boy and attending NASCAR races that someday I was going to be a NASCAR driver.
"Over the past 10 years I've really worked hard trying to become the best race car driver I could be, and I've been quite fortunate to have won a lot of races and also championships. It's helped prepare me for the next step up the racing ladder in my career, competing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series."
Finchum competed in seven NASCAR Xfinity Series races last year for MBM Motorsports, and tentative plans call for the 23-year-old to run the full schedule in 2018. Finchum's starts in 2017 came at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway, twice at Dover International Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"Getting to run the NASCAR Xfinity Series races last year was just awesome and I can't thank Carl Long enough for the opportunities he gave me to drive for MBM Motorsports," Finchum said. "Hey, I was just a short-track racer and Carl took a chance on me that not only would I be able to get the job done behind the wheel for his team, but that I would take good care of his equipment.
"Racing is really about chemistry between the team owner (Carl Long), the driver and the whole race team. Everybody has to have confidence in each other, and we all formed a good relationship last year. I'm truly blessed to be associated with MBM Motorsports."
With MBM Motorsports being a smaller racing operation compared to resources associated with NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series teams such as JR Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Penske Racing, Richard Childress Racing, and Roush Fenway Racing who each field multiple entries in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Finchum realizes it's an uphill battle and not really a level playing field - but it is what it is.
"You hear people say the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series drivers shouldn't be allowed to step down and run NASCAR Xfinity Series races, but as a driver I want to race against tough competition because really, at each step along the way in my racing career I've had to race against tough competition," Finchum stated. "Sure, the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series drivers have more experience, plus their Xfinity cars are prepared alongside the Cup rides and it just makes it tough for the smaller Xfinity teams to compete against the Cup operations. The Cup teams have engineers and really just a whole lot more overall resources and personnel to work preparing the cars.
"Carl (Long) and MBM Motorsports have good equipment, but we realize we're not going to be able to compete with the Cup teams fielding Xfinity cars. The group of cars we're equally competing against on our level each week, our goal is to finish the best among those cars. You can rest assured we're going to give it our best effort."
NASCAR Xfinity Series practice at Daytona International Speedway begins Friday, Feb. 16 with two sessions scheduled: 12:05 p.m. - 12:55 p.m., and from 2:05 p.m. - 2:55 p.m., televised on Fox Sports 1.
NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying will take place Saturday, Feb. 17 at 9:35 a.m., with running of the PowerShares QQQ 300 set for 2:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1. Live radio coverage will be provided by Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM Satellite NASCAR Channel 90. ... You can also visit the Daytona International Speedway website at www.DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com.
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 visit the website at www.ChadFinchum.com, on Facebook at Chad Finchum Racing, and Twitter @ChadFinchum.
--- Chad Finchum PR ---