DESPITE SETBACK, TOWNLEY AND RAB RACING ENDURE TOP-20 IN ARCA RE/MAX 250 Talladega, AL (4-25-09) -- John Wes Townley and RAB Racing returned to their "roots" Friday night in the ARCA RE/MAX 250 at Talladega Superspeedway; although their...
DESPITE SETBACK, TOWNLEY AND RAB RACING ENDURE TOP-20 IN ARCA RE/MAX 250
Talladega, AL (4-25-09) -- John Wes Townley and RAB Racing returned to their "roots" Friday night in the ARCA RE/MAX 250 at Talladega Superspeedway; although their homecoming did not prove to be profitable.
The seasoned duo watched a promising run come up short when they fell victim to "the big one" with less than 10 laps to go. However, the Watkinsville, GA native held onto the No. 09 Zaxby's Ford Fusion to finish 17th in just their second ARCA RE/MAX Series start of the season.
After starting the 94-lap contest 20th, the 19-year-old NASCAR Nationwide Series regular wasted no time in making a charge towards the front of the 43-car pack and was scored in the 14th position when the first of five cautions flags was waved on lap 45.
Four Hoosier tires, fuel and the removal of tape from the grill were on order for the No. 09 machine as it made its way down pit road. Excellent work by the pit crew had Townley restarting 9th when racing resumed on lap 49.
Townley worked the bottom of the race track and flirted with the top-five for the next 12 laps. However, when the engine expired on the No. 60 of Patrick Sheltra, the 09 machine received some left front damage while trying to pass the ill handling race car on the outside. Although the Zaxby's Ford did not suffer severe damage, Townley did lose four spots on the race track.
For the next 20 laps Townley would make his way around the 2.66-mile superspeedway in a pack of three with the 19 and 51 machines. The trio worked their way back into the top-10 but with eight laps to go the engine on the No. 25 machine expired causing the 5 to check up and ultimately sending the 51 of Eddie Mercer spinning up the track. Townley, just two cars behind him had nowhere to go.
While the yellow and blue Zaxby's Ford fusion would fall victim to the ever present "big one," the 09 machine only suffered left front damage and Townley was able to nurse the wounded machine back around to pit road.
The seven-car-pile-up brought out the red flag which halted all work in the 09 pits. When yellow flag conditions resumed on lap 87 Townley was scored 21st one lap down to the leaders.
Crew chief Keith Hinkein would call the Zaxby's Ford down pit road a total of three times over the course of 3 laps to change tires, and pull out the left and right front fenders. When racing resumed on lap 90 Townley was scored in the 18th position, one lap down to the leaders.
A green-white-checker finish would determine the outcome of the event when the afternoon's final caution flag was waved on lap 91. When racing resumed, Townley would gain one more position at the line finishing 17th, one lap down to race winner Justin Lofton.
Townley will be back in action today at Talladega Superspeedway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Aaron's 312 starting 31st.