Nashville: John Wes Townley race report

Townley and No. 21 Zaxby's Team Earn Top-20 Finish at Nashville LEBANON, Tenn. (April 3, 2010) -- John Wes Townley recovered from an early race spin to bring Richard Childress Racing's No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet to an 18th-place finish in...

Townley and No. 21 Zaxby's Team Earn Top-20 Finish at Nashville

LEBANON, Tenn. (April 3, 2010) -- John Wes Townley recovered from an early race spin to bring Richard Childress Racing's No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet to an 18th-place finish in Saturday's Nashville 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Nashville Superspeedway.

The top-20 finish moved Townley up three spots in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver point standings. He is currently 17th, trailing 16th by just seven markers.

Saturday's qualifying session was delayed by one hour so that track officials could dry the 1.33-mile Nashville Superspeedway concrete racing surface after overnight rain showers. Townley was the fourth of 48 drivers to post a time during the qualifying session and briefly held onto the pole position with his 30.416 second/157.772 mph lap before settling in at 11th on the grid.

Starting the race on the inside of row six alongside Michael Annett, Townley was among 42 drivers vying for the prized Nashville Superspeedway trophy, a Sam Bass-designed Gibson Guitar, and a chance of earning a $25,000 bonus as part of Nationwide Insurance's "Dash 4 Cash" program. However, the 20-year-old driver was the victim of a green racetrack early in the Nashville 300, spinning and making contact with the turn two wall on lap three. The Watkinsville, Ga., native drove his battered racecar around the track and down pit road so that the RCR team could make some quick repairs to the No. 21 Chevrolet.

Following two pit stops during the ensuing caution, Townley restarted the race 42nd, still on the lead lap, and was able to post competitive lap times as he climbed his way through the field. Guided by spotter David Green, the Watkinsville, Ga., driver worked his way to 27th by lap 60 and ran as high as seventh during the 225-lap race, making frequent pit stops to assess damage on the No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet.

The team, led by championship winning crew chief Dan Deeringhoff, made the last of 12 pit stops while running 16th on lap 192 for right-side tires, an air pressure adjustment and a splash of gas. Townley restarted the race 12th and ran solidly within the top 20 for the remaining 35 laps, finishing 18th.

Kevin Harvick earned his second NASCAR Nationwide Series victory of the 2010 season, finishing 0.199 seconds ahead of Reed Sorenson. Kyle Busch finished third, followed by Justin Allgaier and Brad Keselowski.

The next NASCAR Nationwide Series race is the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday night, April 9, 2010.

JOHN WES TOWNLEY:

"Racing on concrete is always a challenge because it tests your limits as a driver. We didn't find ourselves in the best of situations after hitting the wall, but we were able to really work as a team and still finished in the top 20. It just shows you how good these RCR cars are and how good this team is."

-source: rcr

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Series NASCAR-NS