Jake Finch may still be a teenager, but his mentality when it comes to the sport screams old school. As he makes his Super Late Model debut at the World Series of Asphalt, he hopes that will translate to wins at New Smyrna Speedway.
This will be his first appearance at the World Series as a driver for Phoenix Racing, a team that saw massive success under father James Finch with drivers like Jeff Purvis behind the wheel. Finch has the same expectations for himself for the week-long event.
“The overall goal is to win every night. I know that’s not feasible but it might be, you never know. The plan is to win as much as I possibly can,” Finch told Speed51. “I have high expectations for myself, my dad has high expectations for the team, I just think that’s my goal. I’m not there to finish second place, I’m there to win and that’s my mindset.”
With seven races in nine days, the World Series gives first-time racers like Finch a golden opportunity for race experience. Add in perhaps the strongest field of Super Late Model drivers the event has seen in many years, and it makes the experience gained even more valuable.
“It’ll help me for sure if I can stay out of trouble. It’ll help me get experience racing against the people I’ll be racing against throughout the year and learn how they run. It’s just getting used to racing these cars and how the power is and passing and other aspects of racing like that.”
Finch says it isn’t just the grind of seven races in nine nights that he has to navigate during the World Series. The limelight that comes with racing during Speedweeks in the state of Florida can also be a challenge to young drivers looking to climb the ladder.
“You just have to be mentally tough, you have to prepare well and be focused and not get distracted with what’s going on and what everyone else is doing with the cameras. People get distracted very easily with that, I think you need to have tunnel vision with that. Whoever focuses the most and wants it the most is going to do it, that’s my gameplan and mindset for every race I’m ever in.”
He has prepared himself for his first Super Late Model opportunity while competing in the Outlaw Stock class at Five Flags Speedway last season. The expectations are high for Finch, but he wouldn’t want it any other way.
“I’m excited for the opportunity and I’m ready to get after it. We’ve been testing throughout the whole year at Pensacola and for the cars we’re running at Speedweeks, we tested this past weekend at New Smyrna and I’m very excited to show off what we’ve got.”
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo