Gateway (Ill.) Motorsports Park | Villa Lighting delivers the Eaton 200 Race Recap
Team: No. 42 Auto Value | Air Lift | Strutmasters.com Chevrolet
Driver: Chad Finley
Crew Chief: Bruce Cook
Finish: Sixth; Running (160 | 160 laps completed)
Quick Recap: Returning to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) tour for the first time in nearly three years, Chad Finley certainly made most of the opportunity scoring a hard-fought top-10 finish in Saturday night’s Villa Lighting delivers the Eaton 200 presented by CK Power.
After a tough outing at Michigan International Speedway two weeks prior, Finley and his Chad Finley Racing team turned to the 1.25-mile racetrack hoping for a good result to rejuvenate the Mooresville, N.C.-based team.
Not only did the team get the boost they were looking for, but they turned heads doing it.
Dodging inclement weather on Friday, Finley took advantage of the limited practice sessions available to dial in his No. 42 Auto Value Certified Service Centers | Air Lift |Strutmasters.com Chevrolet. Showcasing speed and finesse in his Bruce Cook-prepared machine, the team looked to final practice Saturday morning to dial in their Chevrolet Silverado.
The team knew they needed a good handling truck to deliver a good performance during qualifying and in race trim for the evening race at Gateway.
Having to earn his way into the starting field by his qualifying speed, Finley easily maneuvered himself through Round 1. They found themselves 20th quickest during Round 2 offering him the outside of Row 10 for his Gateway debut.
During the 160-lap race, Finley made aggressive moves when it was warranted, throttled back only when it was necessary, but most importantly showed up at the front when it mattered most.
Throughout the last quarter of the race, Finley wrestled his truck inside the top-10 and eyed a spot inside the top-five. While several late race cautions allowed Finley to close the gap to his competition, he simply ran out of laps to maneuver himself inside the top-five.
However, during a green-white-checkered finish, Finley fended off the competition of Jesse Little and Riley Herbst to take the checked flag – sixth, easily surpassing his previous Truck Series finish of 21st at Michigan International Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway respectively.
Chad Finley Quote: “I’m so happy and incredibly thankful.
“It was a total team effort. Without the help of Auto Value Certified Service Centers, Strutmasters.comand Air Lift Company – Gateway would not have been possible.
“Bruce Cook (crew chief) did a great job adjusting on our truck from practice to qualifying and throughout the race. The truck was best when we needed it most at the end of the race.
“It felt really good after the bad luck we’ve had to leave the track with a strong finish and seeing so many people happy. This is great momentum for us and we’ll take the input we learned from Gateway and try to apply it to our next truck race.”
Strutmasters.com joined Auto Value Certified Service Centers and Air Lift Company as additional marketing partners for Finley’s 20th career ARCA race. Additionally,Northsidetowing.net, XLT Engineering and Jimmies Wrecker Service and Auto Repair as associate partners.
Strutmasters.com joined Auto Value Certified Service Centers and Air Lift Company as marketing partners for Finley’s third career Truck Series race. Additionally,Northsidetowing.net, XLT Engineering served as associate partners.
Follow Chad Finley on Twitter @Chad_Finley.
Credit: Chad Finley Racing