Iowa: Chad Finley race report

Two top 10 finishes in two ARCA RE/MAX Series starts has 17-year-old Chad Finley anxious for Berlin Raceway. DeWitt, Michigan (Thursday, July 16, 2009): For any driver to finish in the Top 10 in his first two career ARCA RE/MAX Series starts is...

Two top 10 finishes in two ARCA RE/MAX Series starts has 17-year-old Chad Finley anxious for Berlin Raceway.

DeWitt, Michigan (Thursday, July 16, 2009): For any driver to finish in the Top 10 in his first two career ARCA RE/MAX Series starts is an accomplishment in itself. For 17-year-old Chad Finley, it's a good sign of things to come and the continuation of a career that has reached rising star status.

After finishing sixth in his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut back on May 18th at Toledo Speedway in Toledo, Ohio, the DeWitt, Michigan teenager proved that his debut wasn't a fluke with a solid ninth place finish in the Prairie Meadows 200 on July 11th at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.

"Iowa was a huge learning curve for me. Wayne and all the guys at BKR brought a really good car to Iowa." Finley explained as he reflected on his ARCA weekend at Iowa. "When we got to the track we were struggling with the car being to tight in the center of the corner and we really didn't get it cured until the end of the day."

Finley started the weekend at a track he had never seen before race weekend by drawing the #1 pill for Qualifying. With no Practice scheduled for race day Saturday, (all ARCA Practice was conducted the day before on Friday, July 10th) Finley was the first car out onto the immaculate 7/8s (0.875) mile progressively banked paved oval for Menards Pole Qualifying Presented by Ansell.

"We drew a (1) for qualifying and that made things really difficult," Continued the DeWitt, Michigan driver. "This being my first time qualifying (Qualifying was rained out at Toledo during his first start) and having to go out first was a unique experience especially with a really loose race car."

Despite a very greasy race track, Finley posted the 15th quickest time out of the 37 teams on hand giving the Wolverine State driver an inside eighth row starting spot next to fellow Michigan pilot, Robb Brent. Finley dropped back early in the 200-lap feature, but after pit stops and sheer determination, the 17-year-old persevered and scored his second top 10 finish in two starts with a solid ninth place finish.

"During the race we started off way to loose and quickly fell back. But Wayne just kept telling me to keep digging and that he would get it fixed up for me." He continued. "We finally got the car tightened up at about lap 90 and started to pick are way back to the front."

"We just lost too much time in the beginning to ever make it back up. But it was a lot of fun. All the guys busted their backs to get the car where it needed to be. I really want to thank all of them for their hard work. It was a good run for us." He ended.

Now Finley and the Brad Keselowski Racing Team will have some time to prepare for Finley's third career ARCA RE/MAX Series start at a track where Finley has been racing at on a part-time basis in his family owned Outlaw Super Late Model; Berlin Raceway, located west of Grand Rapids in Marne, Michigan, just an hour West of home, on Saturday, July 25th for the Wolverine Power Systems 200 Presented by Generac.

This will be Finley's first ARCA start in his home state of Michigan and he's had this race circled on his calendar ever since the deal was struck with Brad Keselowski Racing to race the #29 Auto Value / Bumper to Bumper Parts Stores and Certified Service Centers Chevrolet.

After Berlin, Finley is scheduled for two more starts in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with B.K.R. beginning with a return trip to Toledo Speedway over the Labor Day Holiday Weekend on Friday, September 4th. Then he'll complete his limited ARCA schedule with the season finale at Rockingham Speedway in Rockingham, North Carolina.

-credit: bkr

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Chad Finley , Brad Keselowski