Chad Finley Utilizes Tire Management to Win First ARCA Race

by April 9, 2017 0 comments

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Pit strategy proved to be key at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville on Saturday night for Chad Finley, providing the 25-year-old with his first-ever win in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.

Finley, driver of a self-owned No. 51 Chevrolet, out-dueled Kyle Weatherman in the closing restarts of the 200-lap Music City 200 to secure his first win in 14 starts.

“We weren’t our best today, but somehow we kept our heads in it, kept tuning on it and finally got the job done,” Finley said. “We struggled all day. We finally got four fresh tires for the end and that made the difference.

“This is a really big deal. We’ve been trying for so long. My dad puts his heart and soul into this. That’s all I can think about…what it means to him. That’s the best part.”

Weatherman, the second-place finisher of the race, was the dominant driver of the night, leading 134 of 200 laps for Mason Mitchell Motorsports.

A late string of cautions wildly jumbled up the finishing order of ARCA’s third consecutive visit to the .596-mile short track just south of downtown Nashville. 2016 Snowball Derby winner Christian Eckes came home third for Venturini Motorsports followed by Austin Theriault and Mason Mingus in the top-five. Sheldon Creed, Riley Herbst, Tony Mrakovich, Dalton Sargeant and Zane Smith rounded out the top-10 of the finishing order.

Other notable finishers were Shane Lee in 12th, Bret Holmes in 13th, Thad Moffitt in 16th, Gus Dean in 23rd and Bobby Gerhart in 24th.

The No. 25 Venturini Motorsports entry of Raphael Lessard did not make it to the green flag after suffering a hard hit in qualifying earlier in the day.

In the series’s past two visits to the track, the most caution flags displayed during a race was four – set in 2016. This year’s running of the event featured 11 different cautions.

Lap 13 brought out the first caution for a flat tire by Thomas Praytor while a solo Nick Higdon spin in Turn 4 was the cause of the second caution on Lap 41.

A stalled Mike Senica brought out the third caution on Lap 71 as a solo Michael Lira spin was caution number four on Lap 91. Moffitt spun on Lap 103 and collected Higdon and Praytor for the fifth caution.

Mrakovich spun in Turn 2 on Lap 135 as Cody Lane crashed on Lap 153 for the respective sixth and seventh cautions of the race. Gerhart and Higdon came together for the eighth caution on Lap 164 as three solo spins were the cause for the final three cautions of the race.

Unofficially, boosted by his Daytona win, Theriault will lead the points standings heading into the third race of the season at Salem Speedway on Sunday, April 30th.

Results of the Music City 200

  1. 51 – Chad Finley
  2. 78 – Kyle Weatherman
  3. 15 – Christian Eckes
  4. 52 – Austin Theriault
  5. 33 – Mason Mingus
  6. 28 – Sheldon Creed
  7. 18 – Riley Herbst
  8. 11 – Tony Mrakovich
  9. 77 – Dalton Sargeant
  10. 55 – Zane Smith
  11. 80 – Brian Finney
  12. 22 – Shane Lee
  13. 23 – Bret Holmes
  14. 04 – Scott Reeves
  15. 27 – A.J. Fike
  16. 46 – Thad Moffitt (-1)
  17. 34 – Willie Mullins (-3)
  18. 6 – Michael Lira (-6)
  19. 69 – Nick Higdon (-8)
  20. 10 – Rick Clifton (-10)
  21. 48 – Brad Smith (-13)
  22. 2 – Eric Caudell (-18)
  23. 32 – Gus Dean (-34)
  24. 5 – Bobby Gerhart (-36)
  25. 8 – Vinnie Miller (-37)
  26. 0 – Con Nicolopoulos (-38)
  27. 67 – Cody Lane (-54)
  28. 9 – Thomas Praytor (-98)
  29. 3 – Mike Senica (-137)
  30. 94 – Dale Shearer (-179)
  31. 06 – Mark Blasingim (-183)
  32. 62 – Chris Reese (-199)
  33. 25 – Raphael Lessard (-200)

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