BROOKLYN, Michigan – The wait and anticipating is finally over.
After months of hard work 24-year-old Chad Finley will officially debut his Chad Finley Racing (CFR) team in this Friday afternoon’s ARCA Corrigan Oil 200 at Michigan International Speedway.
Finley, who last competed on the tour in 2010 will make his first series’ start in more than six years, but looks at the opportunity to return to the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards as if he hasn’t missed a beat.
“I can’t wait to get back on the track this weekend,” said Finley. “Every since the test at Michigan last month, we’ve been working hard on our No. 51 Auto Value Certified Centers / Air Lift Company Toyota Camry making sure we have what it takes to compete this weekend.”
Last month Finley and his CFR team under the leadership of industry veteran Bruce Cook tested at the 2.0-mile oval with solid results. Three weeks later, the team is hoping their hard work will pay off a huge way in front of the hometown crowd.
“Just like back in 2010, the competition is fierce and stout in the ARCA Racing Series. We’re racing the older steel body car, while others will compete in the new composite body. It’s hard to say how they will actually pan out, but I think with the setup we have and our determination – we should be able to contend for the win.”
Rewinding back to 2010, Finley made a start at his hometown track in the Racing for Wildlife 200 where after qualifying 18th, the DeWitt, Michigan native raced his way to a sixth place finish driving for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski.
While it’s been a while since he’s actually competed in a race at the track nestled in the Irish Hills of Michigan, Finley feels it won’t take him long to get back in the groove and get comfortable.
“The last time I raced on the track in an ARCA car it was on the old surface,” Finley explained. “I ran the truck race last year, so I was able to notice a big difference between the two surfaces. The new surface while starting to age still has a lot of grip, but should produce some good racing Friday afternoon.
“The most important thing for us to make sure we can get the car handling well. While I expect to be nearly wide open during our qualifying lap, I know it won’t be that for the race, so we’ll just need to make sure we have that right balance. Michigan is a big race for us for a lot of reasons, so we’ve liked triple crossed our “T’s” and “I’s.”
In addition to primary marketing partners Auto Value Certified Service Centers and The Airlift Company, Wurth, Mercantile Bank of Michigan, XLT Engineering and NorthsideTowing.net will serve as associate marketing partners for the eighth ARCA race of the season.
“There’s so many people who have helped us get to Michigan and I can’t say thanks enough,” Finley added. “Auto Value Certified Service Centers and The Airlift Company were a part of my first ARCA start at Michigan and I’m glad their back this weekend for my ARCA return. I’m also fortunate to have some new partners with us this weekend and hope we can deliver them a good result.”
In addition to Michigan, Finley will also compete at Lucas Oil Raceway on Jul. 22, Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 15 and the season-finale at Kansas Speedway on Oct. 14. Finley will also throwback to his No. 42 scheme for the coveted CRA Late Model event at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway on Jun. 12.
In 10 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards starts between 2009 and 2010 all for Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR), Chad Finley has mounted three top-fives and six top-10 finishes, including a pole at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway in 2009. Finley’s career-best finish is third, twice, including his most recent ARCA race at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway in Oct. 2010.
The eighth installment for the 2016 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season is set for Friday, June 10 from the 2.0-mile Michigan International Speedway. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 5:30 p.m. The Corrigan Oil 200 (100 laps / 200 miles) is the fourth of six straight consecutive ARCA Racing Series races to be run during the months of May and June.
Follow Chad Finley on Twitter @Chad_Finley.