Report: Finch Sells Team
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on July 17, 2013 | 5:23 P.M. EST
James Finch, shown with Brad Keselowski after winning the Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in 2009, reportedly has sold his race team. (Photo Getty Images)
James Finch has sold Phoenix Racing, according to a report by The News Herald in Panama City, Fla.
Finch confirmed to the newspaper that the deal is done but wouldn’t say who it is with. Reports state that Harry Scott Jr., co-owner of Turner Scott Motorsports, has pursued purchasing the team.
Finch told The News Herald that he’ll assist the new owner through the NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sept. 1 at Atlanta Motor Speedway because “they’ve never run any Cup races or anything like that. They’ve got sponsorship and a driver they want to introduce later in the year.’’
Finch first owned a Cup car in 1990, running four races with Jeff Purvis. Since, Finch’s team has made 246 Cup starts with its lone victory in 2009 at Talladega with Brad Keselowski. Finch’s team also has made 539 Nationwide starts, beginning with Purvis in 1989. Finch’s teams won 13 Nationwide races, including three by Jimmy Spencer in 2001.
“It is unfortunate to see because James has definitely played a role ... in a lot of different things with the sport, whether it was giving drivers opportunities on the front side or back side of their career or crew members of the same sort,,’’ Keselowski said last week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on the pending sale of Finch’s team. “Certainly he has a lot of crazy stories and a lot of fun things he has done, too, which add to some of the character of this sport. Not having him as a car owner, he will definitely be missed.
“Anytime you win is special, but when you do it for a car owner and a driver for the first time it is kind of a double whammy. That is partially why it is sad to see him go. That is a bond we will always share.’’
Among the drivers who have run for Finch in Cup are Geoffrey Bodine, Sterling Marlin, Bobby Labonte, Bill Elliott and Kurt Busch. This season, Finch’s Cup team has had AJ Allmendinger, Austin Dillon, Regan Smith, Jacques Villeneuve and Labonte drive the No. 51 car. Smith finished a season-best sixth in the car at Talladega in May.