DeWitt, Michigan (Wednesday, December 10, 2014): The 2014 racing season has come to an end for Chad Finley and the Chad Finley Racing Team. The DeWitt, Michigan driver had high hopes going into the 47th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. Finley was hoping for solid finishes in not only in his Snowball Derby Super Late Model, but also in the Snowflake 100 as the team also brought down their Pro Late Model in hopes of as much track time as possible in the Panhandle of the Sunshine State.
After qualifying 13th quick out of 63 Snowball Derby entries and 13th quick again out of 74 Snowflake 100 entries, Finley was feeling optimistic going into both mains. On Saturday night (Sunday morning) after two rain delays totaling over five hours, the green flag flew on the Snowflake 100 at 3:05a.m. Unfortunately, early in the race, Finley’s machine picked up some debris which resulted in a flat tire. After getting that fixed, something let go in the valve train of the engine which would end their Snowflake chances.
“We knew qualifying in 13th we were either going to be real good or real bad with that superstitious number,” Laughed the 22-year-old. “I’ve never raced that late into the night before. With all that was going on with the weather and all the racing that had to be done made it a very long night. The crate car was really good and unfortunately with all the wrecks we picked up some thing and had a flat so we had to pit. We got back out and the engine dropped a valve, it was a pretty long rough day to say the least that’s for sure.” He added
Then just a few hours later, the green flag was out, this time on the 300-lap main event of the weekend, an adventurous race ended on lap 218 in a fiery crash with Bubba Pollard. “We got to our hotel at about 5:00a.m., and the guys got maybe an hour of sleep. Plus we had to be back to the track to get haulers unloaded and out of the infield by 9:00a.m. “Finley explained.”I was very grateful to them to let me sleep in a little until it was about time for the Drivers Meeting.”
In the race, Finley made his way up to as high as eighth at one point. “Unfortunately our first trip down pit road was a disaster and we lost a lap in the pits. We were fighting pretty hard as we were the first car a lap down to get the lucky dog when Bubba (Pollard) got loose getting into us and sending us both into the outside wall.” He offered. “That was the hardest hit I think I’ve ever had in my career. Rung my bell pretty good there for a while and it was all I could do to get out of the car as it was on fire.”
“I was in major pain and kind of numb trying to get my thoughts collected and don’t remember much of it. The car is in bad shape so I hate for my guys, marketing partners and most importantly my Dad. He does so much for me and this team on a very limited budget I can only imagine how he feels.” Continued the Great Lakes State driver. “We got the car stripped down and will take it up to Harley (Boeve at Port City Racecars) and see what we can do with it. Then we will have to budget the races we were going to run the first three months of 2015 to offset the cost that’s for sure.” He ended.
Plans are already in the works for the 2015 racing season. Finley and Car Owner / Father, Jeff Finley are busy putting together a schedule of events for the new year and once that is finalized, it’ll be announced. During the 2014 campaign, Finley competed in everything from a Template and Outlaw Super Late Model to a Template and Outlaw Pro Late Model to a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East car and even a Dirt Super Late Model. Overall in 2014, the DeWitt, Michigan driver raced in over 30 total events.
Finley ran his Template Super Late Model primarily in the ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS where he recorded a season high finish of a third four times. Those occurred at Lucas Oil Raceway (IN) twice as well as the 2014 season opener at Toledo Speedway (OH) and at Columbus Motor Speedway (OH). Those finishes were also his five top 10s. He also grabbed two Fast Qualifier Awards which came at Toledo as well as in the 2014 CRA Fall Brawl at LOR.
He also collected an impressive third place finish with the ARCA Midwest Tour in the Howie Lettow Memorial 150 at the famed Milwaukee Mile (WI) back on June 8th. Finley also won the Fast Qualifier Award in one of the most prestigious Outlaw Super Late Model races in the country; Main Event XXVII at Sandusky Speedway (OH) on October 12th. He also timed in third quick and finished eighth in another high profile Outlaw SLM race, the 25th Running of the Glass City 200 on September 20th at Toledo.
In limited appearances in his Pro Late Model, Finley has enjoyed success in 2014. In the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance, in four total JEGS/CRA races, Finley scored a win at Owosso Speedway (MI) on September 6 in the Big ‘O’ Classic 100 Presented by JEGS.com. He also recorded three top five finishes and two Fast Qualifier Awards, both of which broke the Track Record at Auto City Speedway (MI) on August 9th and at Owosso.
He also recorded a victory in weekly Outlaw Pro Late Model action which also came at Owosso on May 31st while his best finish in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East came at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NH) in the Granite State 100 on July 11th. As for his dirt exploits, a fourth place showing at Tri-City Motor Speedway (MI) was his best result in limited appearances on the clay surfaces.
During the 2014 season, all of Finley’s racecars carried sponsorship support and decals from Auto Value Parts Stores & Certified Service Centers as well as AutoParts2020.com, The Air Lift Company, Great Lakes Helicopter, XLT Engineering, NorthsideTowing.net, Five Star Racecar Bodies, Bassett Racing Wheels, Affordable Tire & Service, Bosch Spark Plugs, Hyperco Suspension and M.P.H. Promotions.
For more information about Chad Finley Racing and driver Chad Finley and to inquire about sponsorship opportunities for the fast approaching 2015 racing season, go to the CFR website located at: www.chadfinleyracing.com You can also follow CFR on Facebook and Twitter as well by going to the following links: www.facebook.com/chadfinleyracing and www.twitter.com/chad_finley and clicking on the “Like” and “Follow” buttons respectively.