DeWitt, Michigan (Wednesday, December 11, 2013): Chad Finley knew that going into the 46th annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida on December 3-8th that not only the best short track drivers in the country would be on hand competing for the win in the most prestigious short track race in the country, but that all eyes of the motorsports industry would be squarely on the Panhandle watching everyone’s every move.
Task number one for the Chad Finley Racing Team would be simply to make the show. With 55 of the best in the business on the property, the 21-year-old knew he’d have his work cut out for him in Pole Qualifying on Friday, December 6th. So Finley went out and timed in 17th quick and with the top 30 locking in, he was safely locked into the show and would not have to run the dreaded 50-Lap Last Chance Race.
“Going into qualifying Friday we were really confident in our race car. We had shown great signs of speed through Thursday and Friday.” The DeWitt, Michigan driver remarked. “However we only managed to qualify 17th, we made the show and that’s great but I really thought we had a shot of being in the top five there and the car just wasn’t as good under the lights as it had been during the day.” He added.
So Saturday, December 7th was spent working on race runs in the lone 75 minute Practice Session to see what could be learned to apply for the main the next afternoon. “We made a few race runs with our AirLiftCompany.com / AutoParts2020.com / Chevrolet and the car was pretty sporty. We didn’t put up a really fast lap, but on lap averages we were one of the top five cars we felt like.” Finley continued. “We were pretty happy with the way the car turned the center and drove off, but under clouds and cooler conditions we knew that we would need to be a little better under the sun and slick conditions.”
In the 300-Lap Snowball Derby on Sunday, December 8th, Finley would be the highest finishing rookie in the Snowball Derby as he would cross the stripe in 13th, the first car one lap down. A good accomplishment for running in his first Derby, but Finley was hoping for much more against the talent-laden field that made up the 37 starters in Pensacola, Florida.
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