By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
An ARCA Racing Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series double-header has given Chad Finley an opportunity to run return to the Truck Series.
Finley, a semi-regular in the ARCA Racing Series will drive in the Truck Series instead of ARCA this weekend. He will pilot the No. 42 Auto Value Certified Service Centers Chevrolet Silverado in the Villa Lighting Delivers the Eaton 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park. With 34 teams currently on the entry list, and only 32 spots in the field, Finley will have to qualify on time in order to make the event.
Finley last competed in the Truck Series in 2015 for Rette Jones Racing. He finished 21stin both starts.
“I’m very thankful for this opportunity to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Saturday night,” said Finley. “This is a huge chance for our race team to make some noise and compete for a strong finish. I really think we have the capabilities to come off the hauler pretty strong and show everyone we’re a serious contender.”
Finley has 20 starts in the ARCA Racing Series with one victory at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville. He also has eight top-fives, 11 top-10s, and one pole position.
On top of the pit box for Finley will be veteran crew chief Bruce Cook. Cook has six victories in the Truck Series, all with Kevin Harvick Inc. Two of those trips to victory lane were with Ron Hornaday, Jr., and the final two victories of Hornaday’s Hall of Fame career. Cook also lead Finley to his only victory in the ARCA Racing Series to date.
“This is an opportunity for us to get that second chance and show them what we’re capable of. Bruce (Cook, crew chief) is a really smart guy when it comes to these Trucks and he feels confident that we can go out there and be competitive from the get-go.”
Should Finley make the race, he will get his first glimpse of Stage Racing. His two previous Truck Series starts were prior to the Stage Racing era.
“There’s going to be a lot of factors this weekend,” added Finley. “From stage racing to heat to even learning this new truck, I know the odds are going to be stacked against us, but I believe we’ve shown time and time again that our team thrives under pressure.”
Finley is optimistic about his first Truck race with his family owned team, Chad Finley Racing,
“We’ll see how practice goes, regroup and focus on qualifying. Getting into the show is our main goal. We think we should be able to do that. Once that’s off our plate, we’ll turn our concentration to the race. If we can stay on the lead lap, keep our nose clean and make adjustments throughout the race, I think a top-10 is realistic and something to build on for our next race.”