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Finney Hopes to Shock Tart MASCS Competition in 2009

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Jake Finney

Finney Hopes to Shock Tart MASCS Competition in 2009

Matt Panure
Mid American Stock Car Series
March 2009


It may have taken Jake Finney almost three and a half years to find victory lane, but once the 2006 Mid-American Stock Car Series Rookie of the Year did, he proved just how far he has come in such a short amount of time.

Finney had an incredible run in the Tisler Salvage Red Race at Wisconsin International Raceway in June, holding off a pair of three-time Mid-American champions in James Swan and Bill Prietzel to pick up his first ever MASCS win.

Proving that the win was no fluke, Finney and his team returned in August and dominated the Vercauteren Memorial Tisler Salvage Blue Race. In his short career, Finney has marked this as his biggest accomplishment.

“That’s something I can take with me anywhere,” said Finney who studies Business Administration at De Vry University. “When I look at the names on the trophy and the fact that I’m on it now is kind of a shock at first but now really feels me with gratitude.”

Certainly Finney should be proud to be mentioned in the same breath as MASCS champions Prietzel, Swan, Pete Hernandez and Eddie Hoffman.

While Finney can enjoy the Vercauteren Memorial Trophy for another six months, where he defends the five-foot tall traveling award may not be WIR. With his two MASCS wins at the ½ mile D-shaped oval, it is no surprise that Finney would like to return.

“It upsets me a little bit that we can’t go back because I love it so much,” he said Yet Finney understands the situation and is hopeful that Mid-American can make a return to one of his favorite tracks.

Fans of Finney can be assured that he and his team are confident they can pick up their third win at one of three venues. Rockford, which Finney considers his home track; Milwaukee, where Finney had a strong second place run; and surprisingly, Marshfield were the tracks that Finney mentioned as his three best chances to find victory lane in ’09.

Finney finished fifth in this past years’ “Freedom 40” at Marshfield. “The car was really fast and stayed very consistent while everyone else seemed to fall off,” remarked Finney.

If Finney is able to cash in at these venues and can find some luck throughout the campaign, he is confident that he and his team will be atop the standings.

“Our expectations are pretty high for ’09. I think with Swan out it might be a little easier but there is a lot of competition that is going to be real tough. We just need to stay consistent and finish every single race we can,” he said.

Finney’s career began the same way as most second generation drivers. He learned the basics of racing by joining his dad, Dave Finney, on the road when he was just a youngster. Dave Finney rounded out his racing career traveling with the NASCAR Elite Series in its final year. He was awarded the Larry Detjens Sportsmanship Award in 2006.

While watching his dad wheel a late model at some of the best venues in the Midwest, Finney was preparing to start his own racing career. After purchasing and funding his own Mid-American team at age 17, Jake began his stock car career one year later in 2005 at the Grundy County Speedway.

Although Finney enjoyed his time racing at Grundy in his first season, he decided to follow in his dad’s footsteps and hit the road with the Mid-American Stock Car Series. The decision to travel was not difficult for Finney.

“It really molds the driver better going to different tracks and having to adapt to different setups. Plus we thought that the competition would be a little tougher and we were looking for that,” stated the Sycamore, IL native.

Along with his Mid-American traveling schedule in 2009, Finney plans to hit the road a few times with the Big 8 Late Models.

But Mid-American fans need not fear as Finney has found a home with the series. “As long as Mid-American is around I think we’re going to be part of it in some way shape or form.

My dad, my team and I really love Mid-Am. We love the people we race with, love the officials and Doug and Julie do a bang up job of running the series,” said Finney Finney’s crew consists of his dad Dave, uncle Bill, brother Nate, Eric Carlson, Bob Beckman, Tom Powers, Kelsey Powers, Sandy Boltz, Kent Sheldon, mother Sue and grandmas Phyllis Gustafson and Liz Finney.

In 2008 Finney was sponsored by Fiberglass Wicker, Auto Meter, Finney’s Electric, A-TEC Ambulance Service, Mike’s Auto and Truck Repair, Dahlqist Heating and Cooling, G’s R Plumbing and Banner Up Signs.

The Mid-American Stock Car Series’ 17th season begins on Sunday, April 19 as part of the 32nd Annual Spring Classic at Rockford Speedway in Love’s Park, IL. Stay tuned to www.midamericanracing.com for more announcements and news regarding Mid-American’s 2009 season.

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