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

July 18th, 2013 2:32 pm by Dave Ongie

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

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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