Chad Finley started his racing career back at the age of 10 racing go-karts and now finds himself with Brad Keselowski Racing, looking to move up through the NASCAR ranks.
He started racing in the ARCA Re/Max Racing Series last season, which saw him making four appearances. All four of those races saw him finish in the top 15, including a finish of third at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich. He also scored his first-ever pole at Rockingham Speedway and was up front all race till a late-race incident had him finish 15th.
So far, this year, Finley has ran three races, which have all been top 12 runs, including a third at Pocono after starting fourth.
Finley plans to run three more ARCA races this year (Chicago on Aug. 27, Kansas on Sept. 30, and Rockingham on Oct. 9), and the last three races of the Camping World Truck Series schedule if sponsorship comes.
For 2011, the ultimate goal for Finley is to run either the full Nationwide Series or Truck Series schedule. However, with how the economy is, the realistic goal right now is the full ARCA schedule with some Truck races.
Finley took some time out of his schedule while ARCA has some time off to answer some questions for the fans.
Ashley McCubbin: How'd you get started in racing?
Chad Finley: I got my start in racing from my dad. We went to watch a go kart race at East Lansing Kart Track one day which is about 15 minutes from my house. I instantly wanted to race go karts and try to follow in my dads footsteps. We raced for a few years locally and nationally, and had a lot of success with national wins and poles and such. At 13, while still racing go karts, I began my career in the super late models at Owosso Speedway in Michigan. We then were forced to drop go karts and move to stock cars.
AM: How'd the deal come together between you and Brad Keselowski Racing?
CF: The crew chief over at BKR was a family friend of ours. In 2008, they were racing at MIS with an old driver of theirs and they stopped by our race shop to say hello. We formed an instant bond with the crew and they helped us out at a companion ASA Late models series race that was racing with The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. They all believed in me and wanted to get me into there ARCA program with Brads Blessings. We had instant success in 2009 and were back at in 2010.
AM: How would you rate this year so far?
CF: This year has been amazing with everyone at BKR. We have had extremely fast race cars just have lacked a little bit of luck at MIS and Texas. Texas, I still to this day believe we were going to win that race if it weren't for the transmission troubles that hindered us all race long. Every time we would get in the top two or three the caution would come out and I would lose pivotal spots on restarts.
AM: What is your goal for this year?
CF: All I want to do is win races and be successful. We haven't had the wins, but for being on a very limited budget we have excelled and done a great job. My team is unbelievably talented. They all work extremely well together and we all get along and have a lot of fun at the track.
AM: Where do you see yourself in five years?
CF: I’d love to be winning races in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. But I need to be winning races first to catch somebody’s eye from up there to get to NASCAR. Brad has done a tremendous amount for me to get to where I am, and if it wasn't for him I wouldn't be racing in ARCA or have this chance I have now.
AM: Who's your racing idol?
CF: My racing idol has always been my father, but on a professional level it is Brad Keselowski. We both drive so much alike, we both only care about winning races, and being successful.
AM: What is your advice to up-and-coming drivers?
CF: My advice to anyone is when you really want something you have to go get it, it is never just gonna fall into your hands. You have to get up on the wheel and race as hard as you possibly can when it comes that time. You never know who is watching you.
AM: What are some of your hobbies away from the track?
CF: I have a passion for the outdoors. I love to hunt and love to fish. I also enjoy boating, jet skis, and hanging out with friends on the lake.
Photo Credit: Chad Finley Racing.com