Phoenix Racing to exit NASCAR Unable to find a long-term sponsor for his #51 Sprint Cup team, James Finch is eyeballing an exit from racing all together. "I'm contemplating finishing up this year, and I don't know if I want a sponsor," Finch said Monday. "Sunday was my 776th start in NASCAR between the Nationwide and Sprint Cup. That's a lot of weekends. I'm considering pulling the plug later in the summer." Finch, 62, said Phoenix Racing will not enter any races after the Brickyard 400 scheduled for July 28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He said he intends to wrap up team operations before the Chase for the Cup begins in September.
"I have not been able to get the right amount of funding, the economy is pretty bad, and a lot of people don't want to do it," Finch said of his team's fruitless search for a permanent sponsor. "I'm getting kind of burned out. I think it is time for me to do something else."
Finch's decision comes in the midst of one of his most successful seasons as an owner. Finch currently is tied for 13th in NASCAR's owner points standings with 276 points, just a handful of points outside the Top 10. Phoenix Racing enjoyed a fourth-place finish with Kurt Busch behind the wheel for the Nationwide race at Talladega this past weekend, and Regan Smith steered the team's #51 car to a sixth-place finish in Sunday's Aaron's 499. The team's success, which includes a pair of Top-10 finishes and five Top-15 results, did not appear to help the team find a full-time sponsor, however. The team has found sponsors for individual or small blocks of races, but the lack of a permanent sponsor has forced Finch to cover his team's considerable costs on his own.
"I don't want to lose everything I've got trying to outrun people," Finch said. "I can't do that. It's time to do something else and go from there. I've still got some cars I haven't torn up. And I don't want to build any new ones." Finch said he will help his 18 employees find work with other racing teams if they want to remain in the sport. News Herald
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