Beginning with a high school service-station job pumping gas and turning wrenches, Finlay has usually managed to work around cars. Earlier, Finlay was often found holding the flashlight for his father while he performed some needed repairs on a family vehicle. During college, Finlay worked for Chrysler as a product specialist, staffing one of six experimental in-mall showrooms set up around the country. Finlay also tried his hand at selling cars, spending several months learning (but not mastering) the trade at a domestic-brand dealership in the early 2000s. He has also worked in fleet leasing, specializing in Chevrolet and GMC light-duty trucks. During his time as a market research analyst and focus-group moderator, Finlay worked with manufacturers and suppliers including General Motors and Porsche.