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Finchum excited about upcoming 2017 racing season

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Chad Finchum of Knoxville is hoping to jump-start his 2017 racing season in the same fashion as he has the past two years – parked in victory lane at Kingsport Speedway celebrating a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series win. The season-opener at the .375-mile banked concrete oval in the Model City is scheduled for Saturday, March 25.

“Oh yeah, I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel again to start this new racing season,” Finchum said from his race shop earlier today. “We’ve done some preseason testing at Kingsport Speedway with our Late Model Stock Car and I believe we should be one of the top contenders if everything falls into place. It sure would be awesome to win the season-opener for the third consecutive year.”

Finchum is also very excited about returning to Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, April 22, where he hopes to defend his victory in last year’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series Pitt Lite 125. Finchum will chauffeur the Emory & Henry College sponsored No. 39 Toyota Camry for Martin-McClure Racing.

“While I’m not downplaying the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series event at Kingsport Speedway, I’m really eying getting back to Bristol Motor Speedway in April for the big NASCAR weekend with the Monster Energy Cup Series, Xfinity Series and K&N Pro Series all in action on the famed high banks.”

Last April at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile,” Finchum moved from a fourth-place starting position to second on the opening lap. He then roared past pole-sitter Harrison Burton into the lead on a lap 14 restart and never looked back en route to capturing the biggest victory in his racing career.

“What we were able to accomplish last year at Bristol Motor Speedway driving for Martin-McClure Racing in winning the NASCAR K&N Pro Series Pitt Lite 125, it was like a dream come true for me,” said the 22-year-old Finchum. “After all, I had grown up attending races at Bristol with my family and hoping that one day I would be able to race at BMS. But to be able to win on that stage, with the upper-tier NASCAR teams present and watching, it was very special.”

Winning at Bristol Motor Speedway was not only special for Finchum, it meant a lot to Eric McClure, co-owner of Martin-McClure Racing who had just retired from a long career competing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series following the 2015 season. The McClure family had experienced great success with Abingdon, Va.-based Morgan-McClure Motorsports in the NASCAR Cup Series during the 1990s when they captured three Daytona 500 victories with drivers Sterling Marlin and Ernie Irvan. Plus, the first win for MMM occurred at Bristol.

“With Chad (Finchum) winning for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series race team I co-own last year at Bristol Motor Speedway, I cried as I headed to victory lane,” McClure said while reflecting back to the 2016 Pitt Lite 125 win at Bristol. “For my family, BMS is our home track and it’s where Morgan-McClure Motorsports got its first Cup Series win. Bristol Motor Speedway is the most special place we go to as far as the McClure family is concerned.

“To see my dad come in victory lane, it was so emotional. Professionally, seeing Martin-McClure Racing win last April at BMS was the greatest day of my life.”

During the 2016 racing season, Finchum won the season-opener at Kingsport Speedway along with the finale. Plus, he captured two victories at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. But without a doubt, the win Finchum will never forget is the NASCAR K&N Pro Series victory at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“I’ve not raced as much the past couple of seasons as what we had in years prior, when we competed in 30-plus races a season from about 2012 through 2014,” said Finchum. “But I guess you could say we made the most of our opportunities when we did race. We had good quality starts and won four Late Model Stock Car races in eight events we ran, along with the K&N Pro Series victory. Five overall wins in nine races, yeah, that’s a good winning percentage.”

Finchum will begin the 2017 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season at Kingsport Speedway wheeling the Team Finchum Racing No. 19 Ford Fusion, and possibly that could lead into other starts at the track this year.

Finchum’s schedule beyond Bristol Motor Speedway is still unsettled with Martin-McClure Racing. It could include more K&N races with the team, or possibly later this year some NASCAR Xfinity Series or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts.

“The Bristol deal is set in stone, I’ll be driving the Emory & Henry College sponsored No. 39 Toyota Camry,” Finchum said. “We’re really hoping to defend our big NASCAR K&N Pro Series win from last year, and with the talented guys at Martin-McClure Racing who prepare the car, I know I’ll be sitting in good equipment.

“But after Bristol Motor Speedway, I really don’t know for certain what my racing plans will be. Whatever Eric (McClure) can put together for me, I’m 100 percent all-in. I lean on Eric and Hal (Martin) and trust what they say. We’re trying to put something together, but nothing is a definite at this time.”

However the 2017 racing season ultimately unfolds for Finchum, it's a safe bet to place that he'll find success behind the wheel.

The pit gate at Kingsport Speedway will open Saturday, March 25 at 9 a.m., with both grandstand and tier-parking gates opening at 11 a.m. for the Food City sponsored NASCAR Whelen All-American Series event.

Practice will begin at 10:15 a.m. Drivers' meeting is set for 12 p.m., with qualifying to follow at 12:30 p.m. and the season-opening green flag scheduled to wave at 2 p.m. ... Adult grandstand admission $10, with kids 12-and-under admitted free. Adult tier-parking admission $10 per person (plus a $10 vehicle parking spot fee), with kids 12-and-under admitted free.

Team Finchum Racing is owned by James and Linda Finchum, with crew chief J.E. Blankenship and team manager Tony Cordell overseeing preparation of the race car, with Tyler Reed, Jacob Ruble and Sam Couch pit crew members.

Supporters for Team Finchum Racing in 2017 on the No. 19 Ford Fusion include: A-1 Finchum Heating & Cooling, Overstock Mercantile, Texas Roadhouse, Finchum Paint & Body, Shaklee, Loveland Baptist Church, RW Race Engines, Five Star Race Car Bodies, and Hedgecock (Race Cars) Racing Enterprises.

To learn more about possible sponsor opportunities with Team Finchum Racing, contact James Finchum at (865) 740-3535. To keep up with Chad Finchum’s racing throughout the season follow him via his newly-designed website at, Facebook at Chad Finchum Racing, or on Twitter @ChadFinchum.


Press Release Prepared By:

Walden Motorsports Communications
Johnson City, TN