Chad Finchum of NASCAR, driving the #13 car being sponsored by local Kahnawake business Mohawk Market. (Courtesy Derek White)
A piece of Mohawk decor was on NASCAR driver Chad Finchum’s car at Unhinged 500 in the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama on Saturday.
The Mohawk Warrior Society flag on NASCAR driver Chad Finchum’s hood at the Talladega Superspeedway for Unhinged 300 on Saturday. (Courtesy Derek White)
The hood had the Mohawk Warrior flag on it and the rear left of the car had a piece of Kahnawake as well. The vehicle belongs to Motorsports Business Management, co-owned by driver Carl Long and former NASCAR driver, Kahnawake’s Derek White.
“He (Chad) had no sponsorship,” said White. “As a team owner, we decided to put the Mohawk Warrior flag on the hood and Mohawk Market as the primary sponsor on the side of the vehicle.”
“That was the same car we ran back in February at Daytona,” said Finchum. “We go with hometown and local sponsors for our races. We find our message very special and unique and it gives us a chance to meet a lot of people. Having Derek on board was awesome.”
Finchum became a full-time driver for MBM in late November 2017 as the number 40 entry for the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.
“Derek’s a great guy and he’s been a partner of MBM for a long time even before I started coming along and driving,” he said. “To have him aboard is special. It’s a special time for all of our partners to have a little TV time. It was very cool and I’m hoping we can have his logos and brand back on board. That’s our superspeedway car.”
Finchum finished 22nd out of 39 racers at Unhinged 500. He started 30th as his randomly drawn position instead of the time trials that dictate driver starting positions. This was a new format NASCAR introduced to limit track time from COVID-19.
“We’re in such a unique position with no practice or no time trials. We’re pushing it for 300 miles and knowing nothing about your car,” said Finchum. “It’s been a learning curve, not just for me but every driver. You really have to be precise. It’s a true testament to how smart these guys are in the garage, doing what they do every week with no issues and no practices.”
Finchum’s car sustained damage late in the race but he did not suffer any injuries. The accident came from an 11-car crash that began with drivers Gray Gaulding and Noah Gragson.
“We had damage on all four corners and I was sandwiched,” he said. “It wasn’t a pretty sight. I had the left fender tear off and the front end was smashed up. The door was caved in. It was substantial enough to slow us down.”
The 25-year old made the highlight reel by uniquely entering his pit station by spinning into his spot and was pitted backwards. It was a result of his rear breaks locking up that caused the tailspin.
“Whenever I touched the brakes, the rear brakes locked up,” he said. “Fortunately, it didn’t cost us any damage at that moment. We had a longer pit stop than we planned, and we still fought back.”
Finchum’s next race in the Xfinity series will be the Pocono 225 at the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania this Sunday.
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