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Chad Finchum gets his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee

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NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver Chad Finchum won the Pitt Lite 125 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee

Flinchum started the race on the second row and quickly headed to the front of the pack, leading the race for 112 laps

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver Chad Finchum won the Pitt Lite 125 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee, his first win in 13 career starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

Finchum, a 21-year-old driver from Knoxville, Tenn., is racing for the recently formed Martin-McClure Racing, which is partially owned by NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Eric McClure. Martin-McClure Racing is running a partial schedule in the K&N Pro Series East. The race at Bristol was the first of four scheduled starts for Finchum with the team.

“This is kind of my playground. I love the short tracks. I love the concrete tracks,” Finchum said after the race on Saturday. “Really good success today. We showed a lot of potential and I hope that can carry through. All the hard work paid off.”

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver Chad Finchum won the Pitt Lite 125 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee

Chad Flinchum celebrates his first K&N Pro Series East win and gives Martin-McClure Racing their first win at Bristol Motor Speedway

Finchum took the lead from pole winner Harrison Burton on lap 14. Finchum, who started on the outside of the second row, was out front for the remainder of the race, 112 laps. He finished 0.625 seconds ahead of runner-up Kyle Benjamin. Finchum is the fourth different winner in four K&N Pro Series East races in 2016.

“We have been finishing second a lot this year and I really wanted to get the win, especially at a place I have some experience at,” Benjamin said. “Also I wanted to get the team its first win. We haven’t won yet in the K&N Series but it will happen shortly. We keep bringing fast cars to the track. We can only run second for so long.”

Finchum has never finished higher than seventh place in a K&N Pro Series East race, a feat he accomplished three times, prior to winning at Bristol. The next race he is scheduled to race is at Iowa Speedway on July 26.

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver Chad Finchum won the Pitt Lite 125 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee

Flinchum autographs the K&N Pro Series souvenir helmet as the winner of the Bristol race

“There are plenty of races in between now and the last race on the schedule for places to be filled and places that we can go and race,” Finchum said. “As of right now, I don’t know. I’m just taking all this in. Wins are hard to come by. I’m just taking it one moment at a time right now. This is really cool and it is really fun and I hope I get to do it again many more times with these guys.”

Benjamin’s second-place finish was enough to move him into the lead in the K&N Pro Series East standings. He is three points ahead of Spencer Davis after four races in the K&N Pro Series East schedule. Kaz Grala was third, followed by Justin Haley in fourth and Dillon Bassett in fifth.

“Really good run for us,” Grala said. “Unfortunately, we had to start a little bit farther back than I would have liked. We started 11th. By the time we were up where we needed to be, we were just about out of tires and definitely out of time.”

Todd Gilliland, who was looking to set a NASCAR K&N Pro Series record with five wins in a row to start his career, was ninth and the highest-finishing rookie. Gilliland had troubles from the start and had to work his way into the top 10. He had to start at the back of the field because of unapproved adjustments his team made to the car.

The next K&N Pro Series East race is the Biscuitville 125 at Virginia International Raceway on April 30.


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