Daytona: John Wes Townley race report

Townley Overcomes Crash for Strong Finish in ARCA Debut WATKINSVILLE, GA. -- John Wes Townley, making his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut in the 45th ARCA 200 stock car race, got involved in a major crash on the 30th lap of the 80-lap race but bounced...

Townley Overcomes Crash for Strong Finish in ARCA Debut

WATKINSVILLE, GA. -- John Wes Townley, making his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut in the 45th ARCA 200 stock car race, got involved in a major crash on the 30th lap of the 80-lap race but bounced back to finish on the lead lap, just out of the top ten.

"It was really fortunate the way it came out," reminisced the young racer. "It's tough to come through a wreck like that without a scratch." Pre-season testing saw Townley well up in testing. "We were a little off from where we tested," he commented. "I'd like to have been a little better but I didn't expect to have a first place qualifying run." His qualifying run was a satisfying 19th, putting the No. 09 Zaxby's Ford on the grid after a lap of 50.327 sec/178.830 mph.

Running smoothly and watching for opportunities, Townley's race got changed dramatically with a crash in front of him on lap 29. "I saw a couple of cars in front of me get together and I got off the throttle. I just rolled out of the throttle in case a hole opened up but there was no getting by that one," he said.

The crash was not the only obstacle faced by the rookie driver. "My shifter would pop out of fourth gear," he said. "We got in there and we were going to take a rubber strap and hook it to the shifter." The plan was for John Wes to hook the strap around the shifter but the tight confines of a modern stock car, with its roll cage and the driver's HANS device, made that difficult. "It was no big deal. There's just nothing you could do about it," he stated.

In spite of the shifter and traffic, Townley was pleased with his result. "I had some lapped cars that were holding me up a little bit but there was no point in pushing it," he commented. "I think we ended up pretty good. It was a big plus for me. It was a big experience, the first time at a track this big. I got all the butterflies out of my stomach," he grinned.

Townley has just joined forces with Robby Benton Racing, commenting that "I'm really impressed with them."

-credit: jwt

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers John Wes Townley , Robby Benton