Chad Finchum, the 2013 Kingsport Speedway track champion, will be making his NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series debut in a No. 40 Toyota fielded by MDM Motorsports. He will join Trevor Bayne, the driver of the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, as entries in the April 15 race.
It will mark the first time that two drivers from Tennessee have been in the same Cup race since Sterling Marlin from Columbia and Chad Chaffin from Smyrna raced at Chicagoland in 2007.
"Bristol is a track that really suits my driving style, especially coming off a short concrete track like Kingsport," Finchum said at a media function at Calhoun’s on the river in Knoxville. "I've won at Bristol so I've got confidence going in there. So what a better track to make your debut at."
As he mentioned, Finchum won the Pitt Lite 125 for the NASCAR K&N Series at BMS two years ago while driving for Martin-McClure Racing. He was a contender for the win again last year, but never had a chance to reach the front with the race shortened by rain.
Finchum has made 12 starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and will also be running the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 on Saturday, April 14. He owns a best finish of 28th at the Food City 300 at BMS last August.
"Bristol feels like home to me. I've been there four times in a K&N car and in the Xfinity car and I've been there my whole life, watching Cup races," he said. "Going to Bristol, unloading the truck and hitting the track for the first practice, it doesn't feel any different than Kingsport. I'm able to give the car my all right off the track, where some of these tracks, I've never been to. When you go to that first practice, I have to go out there conservatively where I don't tear a race car up. Bristol, there is no guess to it — it's all-out go."
After rain washed out last week's action at Kingsport Speedway, the season opener for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is now set for this Saturday.
The Late Model Stock division headlines the weekly program at the 3/8-mile concrete oval. Pure Street, Mod Street, Pure 4 and Mod 4 are also scheduled. Grandstands open at noon with practice, qualifying and then racing scheduled to being around 3 p.m.
DIRT TRACK RACING
Weekly racing returns to Volunteer Speedway this Saturday with a five-division program. The Steel-Head Late Model, Crate Late Model, Sportsman Late Model, Modified Street and Classic divisions are all in action at the 4/10-mile dirt oval.
There will also be an Easter egg hunt and prize giveaways for the kids.
Grandstands open at 3 p.m. with hot laps around 6:30 p.m. — followed by qualifying and racing.
THE MADHOUSE RETURNS
The Winston-Salem Journal reported Monday that Discovery Channel will film racing at the historic Bowman-Gray Stadium this season.
It is the second time that Discovery Channel has featured racing at the track, filming the 2009 racing season and focusing on its Modified division and drivers. Veteran racer Tim Brown won the championship that season, while much of the action centered around the feud between the Myers brothers (Burt and Jason) and Junior Miller.
Viewership for the "MadHouse" show was steady after it debuted in 2010, and it ran for 13 episodes.