NASCAR Cup SeriesNASCAR Xfinity Series

Timmy Hill, Chad Finchum join 2021 Daytona 500 grid for MBM Motorsports, to continue Xfinity slate alongside Stephen Leicht

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Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

MBM Motorsports will continue racing in the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series in 2021. In a Facebook post shared on Friday evening, owner Carl Long outlined his team’s plans for the upcoming season, with Timmy Hill and Chad Finchum expected to return to the Daytona 500 to kick off the Cup season. The duo and Stephen Leicht will also run Xfinity races for MBM.

Hill and Finchum will attempt the Daytona 500 for the third and second times, respectively. While Finchum failed to qualify in 2020, Hill finished twenty-seventh after being caught in a wreck that forced overtime. While MBM usually fields Toyotas, the duo ran Fords for that 500 and will do so again in 2021.

“MBM is getting prepared for 2021,” Long wrote in the post. “Timmy Hill, Chad Finchum and Stephen Leicht all set to return to MBM this year.. Timmy and chad both will be in Fords , trying to make the Daytona 500. Both also are set to drive in xfinity as well.

“Clinton Cram and Patrick Magee return as crew chiefs. New addition to MBM is Mark Hillman as Chad’s crew chief. Doug Richert competition Director , with Gary Showalter shop foreman and Rambo ..fab department..”

While Hill will once again run the #66, a number that the team has used since the launch of their Cup program in 2017, Long did not confirm if Finchum will use #49 again. Among the numbers teased for the second MBM car were #46 (used by Long during his driving career and was the first number used for this car in 2019), #61 (from the team’s Xfinity alliance with Camping World Truck Series team Hattori Racing Enterprises), #67 (adjacent to #66), and #72 (used by Xfinity driver John Jackson). #13, one of the team’s Xfinity numbers and noticeable in the team logo, was also raised as a possible choice if it is available; the number was used by Germain Racing until their shutdown after the 2020 season.

Although he did not run for Cup points in 2020, Hill participated in all thirty-six races for MBM, scoring a best finish of fifteenth at the fall Talladega race. The finish was one of two top twenties for the #66 that year, along with a nineteenth at the spring Bristol event. He also ran all but four Xfinity races for the team, finishing third in the opener at Daytona, and made ten Truck starts for his Hill Motorsports team. Hill also unofficially won the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series championship in the spring when the real-life sport was halted due to COVID-19, scoring a victory at virtual Texas.

Finchum, who made his Cup début for MBM at Bristol in 2018, returned to the series later in the 2020 season at Las Vegas, Kansas, and Texas. After a pair of thirty-ninth-place DNFs, he finished thirty-fifth at Texas in the #49. The Tennessee native, who joined MBM in 2017, finished twenty-sixth in the 2020 Xfinity standings with a highest placement of eleventh at Talladega in the fall. According to the post, Finchum’s Cup starts will be increased in 2021.

Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Besides Hill and Finchum, Leicht will return to the team for the second year. Whenever he was not spotting, the 2012 Cup Rookie of the Year mainly served as a start-and-park driver for MBM as he entered twenty-four races in 2020 but finished just seven. Of the races that he ran the distance, his best finish was twenty-first on the Indianapolis and Daytona road courses in the #61. With his stronger finishes on such tracks, Long elaborated in the post that Leicht will run the road races in 2021; while whether it was Cup (which Leicht last raced in 2017) or Xfinity was not specified, there are seven road courses on the latter’s 2021 schedule, which could perhaps enable Leicht to provide the team with some boosts in the owners’ standings. Leicht will also contest the Nashville event, which returns to the calendar after a decade-long absence; he won at Nashville in ARCA in 2006, while his last Xfinity start there was a sixth in 2009.

MBM’s driver roster is generally bloated with a laundry list of names. In 2020, their three Xfinity cars—the #13, #61, and #66—were shared between a combined eleven drivers. The #61 has an alliance with HRE that allows the Truck team’s driver Austin Hill to make Xfinity starts. Other drivers to have made a start for MBM this past season include Jackson and Long, Stan Mullis, Bobby Reuse, and J.J. Yeley. Jesse Iwuji and Harold Crooms recorded their Xfinity Series débuts for the team as road course ringers.

The #61 finished twenty-third in the Xfinity owners’ standings, while the #13 and #66 were twenty-sixth and thirty-ninth, respectively. T. Hill’s third at Daytona was the #66’s strongest run of the year and Finchum’s eleventh at Talladega was the best for the #13. The #61, officially listed as an HRE entry, enjoyed three top tens with A. Hill in 2020 with a best finish of fifth at Kansas 2. T. Hill’s best 2020 run in the #61 was fourteenth at Bristol.

“We have an opening in one of our Xfinity Toyota entries for Daytona. We are speaking with several sponsored drivers, no one is able to get a contract yet,” continued Long’s post. “We also have no sponsorship for the following cup and 1 Xfinity car , road coarse at daytona. Stephen and Timmy are set to drive xfinity there.

“We are trying to plan on Timmy Hill running for the xfinity points . While Chad will see more cup races and Stephen will do road coarses and Nashville , then fill in with team where needed most. He done an excellent job spotting Chad last year at dega , so look for him on the roof in Daytona.”

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Justin is a History major at San Jose State University and lifelong racing fan who has worked for The Checkered Flag since 2018. His coverage mainly focuses on NASCAR, the Stadium Super Trucks, and off-road series like Extreme E and SCORE International. He also dabbles in other disciplines such as IndyCar, rallycross, and sports cars.
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