KNPSE: Chad Finchum Gunning For Top Result in K&N East Step-Up at Bristol

Marshall Gabell Featured, MidSouth, NASCAR, Southeast, Touring Series 0 Comments

CHARLOTTE, N.C. and BRISTOL, Tenn. – Story by Race Chaser Online Mid-Atlantic Correspondent Marshall Gabell – Drew Hierwarter photo –

Late model ace Chad Finchum is making his return to the big leagues this weekend.

After finishing fifth in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national points standings last season, Finchum will compete in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday.

Finchum, who has competed in nine previous K&N Pro Series events, including three top ten finishes, did not even have this event on his radar until last week – forcing both he and the team to work overtime to get his No. 17 Texas Roadhouse Toyota prepared for the race.

“We did not even have this deal (set in stone) until last Monday,” Finchum said. “In fact, we did not even get the car until last Wednesday. So we have about a week to work on this thing. We have been turning some wrenches on this thing.”

Despite it being his first start in the K&N Pro Series this season, Finchum has visited the Bristol, Tenn. track two times before – scoring a best finish of seventh (twice).

“We have had good luck at Bristol in the past,” Finchum explained. “We finished seventh our first time ever there and then (had some bad luck) in the second run. But I am really excited about this weekend. We have not had much time to run in the K&N Pro Series, so I am really glad to be back”

While he has been unable to notch a top five finish in the K&N Pro Series East, the developing racer is hoping to impress this weekend and contend for the win in the final laps.

“This season is almost a mirror image (of 2012 when we went to Bristol),” Finchum explained. “This is our own team, our own money and our own group. (With that being said), I think we can set out for a top ten finish this weekend. But, we are (hoping for) a win – and I think we are capable of that.”

This will not be the only time that fans will see Finchum in the K&N Pro Series in 2015 either.

The Knoxville, Tenn. native purchased a K&N Pro Series car – bringing his team from the late models – and is expecting to run in select races this season.

“I (believe) we are going to do more then just this race in the K&N Pro Series,” Finchum expressed. “I do not know what tracks, but I know we will not be doing the full season. I (doubt) we will do more then three or four races – unless sponsorship comes aboard.”

Aside from the K&N Pro Series races, Finchum is hoping to make the ultimate jump this season – a debut in the NASCAR national series.

After running 37 races in the late model ranks last season, Finchum is cutting back on the short track program – allowing cap space for a possible start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series or NASCAR XFINITY Series.

“In 2014, we went to 37 late model races,” Finchum said. “We had some success and learned a lot. But, after looking at it, we (realized) that we could shorten up our late model program to 10 races or less and (turn our attention) on higher series – like K&N, the Truck Series and XFINTIY Series.”

However, the 20-year-old is keeping his focus on this weekend’s PittLite 125 at Bristol – and with the national series running in conjunction with the K&N Pro Series this weekend, it could be just what Finchum needs to impress a team owner.

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