TOWNLEY FIGHTS BACK TO FINISH 29TH IN THE INAUGURAL EVENT AT IOWA SPEEDWAY Newton, IA (8-3-09) -- The NASCAR Nationwide Series headed North West to the "Hawkeye State" for the Inaugural event at Iowa Speedway, the U.S. Cellular 250 presented by...
TOWNLEY FIGHTS BACK TO FINISH 29TH IN THE INAUGURAL EVENT AT IOWA SPEEDWAY
Newton, IA (8-3-09) -- The NASCAR Nationwide Series headed North West to the "Hawkeye State" for the Inaugural event at Iowa Speedway, the U.S. Cellular 250 presented by Northland Oil and TMC Trucking. Townley and the No. 09 Zaxby's Racing team suffered from a mechanical failure early on, but a never never-quit attitude paid off with a 29th-place finish on Saturday.
On Thursday 50 teams took to the track for a six hour practice session before the official track schedule began on Friday. Townley was one of only a handful of driver's that have ever toured the .875-mile oval. The Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender ran lap times competitively in the top-20 for most of the afternoon. However, just halfway through the session Townley was involved in an incident coming out of turn-4 with the No. 77 machine of Peyton Sellers. Both teams would be forced to pull out their back-up cars.
With just one hour remaining in the six hour practice session, Townley would get back out on the track and post his fastest lap of the afternoon 23.845 seconds (134.972 mph) placing the rookie 16th fastest on the board.
Due to such a hefty practice on Thursday the No. 09 team would only participate in the first of two practice sessions on Friday posting the 21st fastest time overall and the sixth fastest time of the 20 go-or-go home cars.
In time trials on Saturday, the Watkinsville, GA native was the 33rd of 50 cars to take time. His fast lap of 23.731 seconds (132.738 mph) was good enough to lock the No. 09 machine into the field with a 30th-place starting position.
When the 43-car field took the green flag in the third Dash-4-Cash event of the season Townley was sitting comfortably inside row 15. Just four laps into the 250-lap event he experienced a trackbar mount break which caused the right rear tire to expire, ultimately sending the No. 09 machine into the turn-2 wall. The Zaxby's crew would spend just over 40 laps in the garage fixing the carnage on the machine.
Townley would return to the track in the 43rd position on lap 45. Due to being so many laps down crew chief Brad Parrott opted to make this a "no-pressure test" for the rookie. He focused on hitting his marks and making consistent lap times on the track and the Zaxby's Racing team worked on solid pit stops off the track.
Townley plotted his way up the scoreboard over the next 200 laps and was shown 29th on the scoreboard when the checkered flag was displayed on lap 250. Brad Keselowski would make the winning pass against Kyle Busch to bring home his second NNS victory of 2009.
Due to the efforts of the 19-year-old rookie the Zaxby's Racing team gained one position from 35th to 34th in the season long point standings with 1,309 points; just 334 outside the top-30.
Next up for RAB Racing is the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on August 8th. Townley will step aside as Boris Said will take the wheel on the No. 09 Zaxby's Ford Fusion.
Said, who has six NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at The Glen including one top-5, two top-10's and one pole to his credit will be making his debut for RAB Racing at the 2.45-mile road course.