Chad Finchum is no different than hundreds of other race car drivers across the country – looking to make it in NASCAR. The Knoxville, Tennessee native hopes his new opportunity will lead to bigger and better things in NASCAR.
Finchum announced earlier this week he will be driving in three races for SS Greenlight Racing in the Xfinity series. Finchum will compete next weekend at Darlington plus races at Bristol Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway.
Finchum’s career started out promising. After winning the K&N East race at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2016, then car owner Eric McClure helped him get a ride with Carl Long’s MBM Motorsports. Finchum ran a partial schedule in 2017 before the team went to two cars where Finchum piloted the second car full time in 2018 and 2019.
After the pandemic hit in 2020, things went downhill for Finchum. With many sponsors and potential sponsors cutting back, the MBM Motorsports team had to cut back and Finchum was one of the first victims. Finchum has only been racing a few times a year since 2020.
“Things were going good for me and my career before the pandemic hit,” Finchum stated. “A lot of sponsors cut back or got out of the sport because no one knew what the economy would do. It’s been tough on everybody. Not just me, but even the top teams in Cup no longer have those year-long sponsors like you used to see with somebody like Tony Stewart and Home Depot. I really believe if the pandemic hadn’t hit, I’d still be racing full time.”
Since cutting back, Finchum has started his own auto detailing business alongside his family’s heating and air business in Powell, Tennessee. While the business has flourished, Finchum still has the itch to race.
“I’m going to be 30 next month,” Finchum said. “That’s kind of in the middle of where veterans are and the young guys coming in. There are guys younger than me already in Cup – Chase Elliott, Ty Gibbs, and Tyler Reddick are all younger than me. I feel like when you’re 30, your chances go down to get a full time ride.”
“I really appreciate the opportunity that MBM has given me. Those chances were getting less and if I wanted to make a go of a racing career, I had to start looking for other opportunities now.”
Finchum struck up conversations with SS Greenlight owner Bobby Dotter. They were able to get a deal together to put Finchum in the #08 car for three races this season with the hopes of more this season and next.
“I’m really excited to rejuvenate my career,” Finchum said. “If things work out, there might be a chance to add some more races this year and I hope to do 8-12 races next year. They have a really good team and have had some really good drivers racing for them in the past. I’m really excited about this opportunity and hope to turn some heads.
SS Greenlight will be fielding Ford Mustangs for Finchum.