Finchum penalized, Late Model championship race opens up at Kingsport Speedway

Dave Ongie • Aug 12, 2013 at 8:36 PM

KINGSPORT – An exciting NASCAR Whelen All-American Series

Late Model race at Kingsport Speedway didn’t end with the checkered flag and

the fireworks show last Friday night.

Instead, the high drama continued well into this week after a protest was filed

against Chad Finchum, who won last week’s race in dominant fashion. Following the

race, Pat Shell, father of Late Model driver Zeke Shell, protested Finchum’s


Track promoter Robert Pressley took custody of the engine on Friday night and

then took it to Statesville, N.C., on Tuesday for an inspection. NASCAR Whelen

All-American Series national director Lynn Carroll was present at the

inspection along with Chad Finchum and his father James and Pat Shell. Engine

Builders Roobbie White, Charlie Long and Kevin Fisher were also on hand.

During the course of the inspection, it was discovered that the engine

contained an incorrect camshaft. Ford Racing, which supplies engines for

Finchum’s racing team, issued a statement taking full responsibility for

putting the wrong camshaft in the engine on the assembly line before sealing it

for delivery.

“The engine misbuild was traced to a mixup of components at the AER build facility

on that day when both the 347 and 363 engines were being built on the same

assembly line,” Ford said in the statement. “Ford Racing assumes full

responsibility for the incorrect camshaft in engine serial number S00663491. Ford

Racing apologizes to the Finchum Racing Team and Kingsport Speedway for this


As a result of the penalty, Finchum was disqualified from last week’s race, a

devastating blow for the rookie this late in the season. Instead of padding his

points lead with a win, the Knoxville native tumbled to fourth in the points

standings after the 30 points he earned last week were erased as a result of

the penalty.

"It's really an unfortunate deal for us, being we're competing in 2013 at

Kingsport Speedway trying to win not only the track Late Model Stock title, but

looking at the bigger picture we're hoping to win the Tennessee State NASCAR

Whelen All-American Series Championship,” Chad Finchum said. “With us losing

our track points lead, we're really going to have our work cut out if we hope

to bounce back from this situation and win the track championship."

Due to Finchum’s disqualification, runner-up Kres VanDyke was declared the

winner of last week’s race. It was his second win of the season.

With five races remaining, the top four drivers in the standings are separated by

just 12 points. Daniel Pope leads the way with 390 and VanDyke trails him by

just four points. Shell is now third with 384 points and Finchum is fourth with


The championship battle will continue on Friday at Pizza Plus Night at the

Races. For more information on this week’s schedule of events, visit


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