Fontana II: John Wes Townley race report

JOHN WES TOWNLEY RALLIES TO FINISH 17TH IN THE COPART 300 AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY Fontana, CA -- For the second time this season John Wes Townley and the No. 09 Zaxby's Racing team traveled to the West Coast for 300 miles of racing at the Auto...

JOHN WES TOWNLEY RALLIES TO FINISH 17TH IN THE COPART 300 AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY

Fontana, CA -- For the second time this season John Wes Townley and the No. 09 Zaxby's Racing team traveled to the West Coast for 300 miles of racing at the Auto Club Speedway. The 2-mile oval produces top speeds and high drama which was no different this Saturday for the Zaxby's team as they rallied from diversity to finish 17th in the Copart 300.

The top-20 effort was Townley's fifth top-20 finish of the 2009 season and third top-20 in four races for the 19-year-old rookie driver. The hard fought finish moved the Watkinsville, GA native up two positions to 27th in the driver point standings and one spot in the 2009 owner point standings to 32nd; 377 markers behind 31st and 379 points outside the top-30.

In qualifying on Saturday morning, Townley wheeled his Zaxby's Ford Fusion around the 2-mile D-shaped oval in 40.900 seconds (176.039 mph) locking the team into the field with a 23rd-place starting position for the 30th event on the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule.

When the green flag dropped Saturday afternoon, the rookie maintained his ground in the top-25 for the first 125 laps running as high as 16th and as low as 26th fighting tight conditions on late entry. Crew chief Brad Parrott brought the yellow and blue Zaxby's Ford down pit road three times during six yellow flags for four tires and fuel and to make minor adjustments on the chassis.

However, running 17th on lap 126 John Wes Townley and the No. 38 machine of Jason Leffler made contact in Turn 2 bringing out the seventh caution. Townley would suffer from left side damage and made the long trip down pit road for repairs.

The Zaxby's team changed four tires; beat out the front fender and the left quarter panel and also made a chassis adjustment. When green flag racing resumed on lap 128 Townley was scored in the 31st position the first car one lap down.

Fortunately, for the Zaxby's team another caution flag would be displayed just four laps later and the No. 09 machine would be awarded the "Lucky Dog" putting John Wes Townley back on the lead lap. Townley would restart 29th with just 15 laps to go in the 150-lap event.

Marching his way up the leaderboard Townley was up to the 21st position with just five laps remaining and clinched four more positions during a green-white-checker finish to bring home a 17th-place finish to race winner, Joey Logano in the race extended 152-lap event.

Next up for RAB Racing is the Dollar General 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Townley has one start at the 1.5-mile quad oval finishing 27th in the 2008 Dollar General 300.

-credit: rabr

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jason Leffler , Joey Logano , John Wes Townley