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Friday, June 28, 2013
Potential buyer for Phoenix Racing

By David Newton
ESPN.com

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Phoenix Racing owner James Finch has a potential buyer that could keep his South Carolina-based Sprint Cup team running the rest of the year.

Finch declined to say who the buyer was, other than he is in racing and "has the money to do it."

A source close to the situation told ESPN.com the potential buyer is Harry Scott Jr., the co-owner of Turner Scott Motorsports, which competes in the Nationwide and Truck Series.

Finch, 63, said he should know if the deal will go through by July 15. If not, he said the organization, which gets engines and chassis from Hendrick Motorsports, will shut down after the July 28 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway due to a lack of funding.

"My last race is going to be the Brickyard [400] that I'm going to fund," Finch said Friday. "I've been trying to make this sale happen to keep my employees. I've got some of them jobs with different teams if I shut down. If the guy buys the team, they will be able to stay and go forward racing."

Finch has 18 employees in his Spartanburg shop located just over an hour from the NASCAR hub in Charlotte. He has run off and on in the Cup series since 1990, his only win coming with Brad Keselowski at Talladega in 2009.

He has 13 wins in 538 Nationwide Series starts.

Finch didn't attempt to run a full Cup schedule until 2011. In 2012, he gave 2004 champion Kurt Busch a ride after Busch was released from Penske Racing.

This year, Phoenix Racing has run every race with five different drivers -- Regan Smith, AJ Allmendinger, Austin Dillon, Bobby Labonte and Jacques Villeneuve.

Smith finished seventh in the Daytona 500 and sixth at Talladega.

Finch had hoped to run a full season, but the inability to lure sponsors has forced him to sell or shut down.

"If this guy buys it, I might come up there and run a Nationwide race or two with him, just to play around," said Finch, who owns Phoenix Construction in Panama City, Fla. "But it's to the point I've got to quit because of expenses and no sponsorship. I know the difference between having a little money and being broke, because I started broke.

"I don't want to go broke trying to beat Ford Motor Company."

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.