Knoxville, Tennessee resident Chad Finchum is set to make his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut in his home state. His Xfinity Series team MBM Motorsports will field the #66 Toyota Camry in April’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The news was initially announced by Finchum in a Twitter video posted by the Bristol Twitter account and confirmed by the team in subsequent posts.
“Bristol is probably my favorite track on the circuit,“ Finchum stated. “We’ll be pulling double duty, so we’ll be racing on Saturday and Sunday. Two days, two races, 800 laps. Big challenge ahead of us, but I’m ready for it. Bristol’s a home track of mine. I’ve had a lot of experience there in years past.”
Finchum is currently competing for Rookie of the Year honors in the Xfinity Series, driving the #40 car for MBM. He joined the team for a seven-race schedule in 2017, finishing thirty-fourth in his first race at Dover International Speedway; his best finish was twenty-eighth at Bristol. He signed a full-time deal with the team for the 2018 season to become MBM’s first permanent driver. After five races, he sits thirty-seventh in points.
Prior to racing in the Xfinity Series, he raced part-time in the K&N Pro Series East, doing so from 2011 to 2017. In 2015, he signed with Martin-McClure Racing, and in his third start with the team at the 2016 Bristol race, he recorded his first series victory after leading 112 of 125 laps. Upon increasing his focus towards the Xfinity Series, he ran one K&N East race in 2017, finishing fifth at Bristol.
“While we had plans for Chad to make his Cup Series debut this season, we didn’t expect for it to be this soon,” the team posted on Reddit. “We were able to get the car sponsored for the race. Also, with Chad being a previous winner at Bristol (2016 K&N East) and this being his home track, we all agreed that this race would be a great opportunity for him.”
Motorsports Business Management, founded and owned by NASCAR veteran Carl Long, operates the #40 and #66 Xfinity cars for Finchum and Timmy Hill, respectively. During the 2017 season, the team ran its first Cup races with Long at the helm of the #66 Chevrolet, his first premier series start since his ban from the Cup Series garage in 2009 for an engine infraction at that year’s All-Star Race. Long drove the car in three races while Hill did so in six, the latter scoring the team’s best run of fourteenth at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For the 2018 Daytona 500, Mark Thompson piloted the #66 Ford to a twenty-second-place finish in his final NASCAR start.
Finchum will compete in both the Xfinity and Cup races. The former’s Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 will take place on Saturday 15 April, with the Food City 500 being held the next day.