Las Vegas: John Wes Townley preview

Fast & Fun Facts: * John Wes Townley and RAB Racing will be making their debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend in the Sam's Town 300. * Although, the team and driver will be making their debut, the newly announced crew...

Fast & Fun Facts:

* John Wes Townley and RAB Racing will be making their debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend in the Sam's Town 300.

* Although, the team and driver will be making their debut, the newly announced crew chief, Brad Parrott will return to the 1.5-mile oval where he finished 6th in the 2008 Nationwide race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with Dario Franchitti in the No. 40 Dodge.

* Townley's 14th-place qualifying effort for the Stater Bros. 300 was his best Nationwide Series start.

* John Wes Townley recently started taking Tae Kwon Do, something he is doing with his two younger brothers.

Last Time Around: California- John Wes Townley and RAB Racing made their Auto Club Speedway debut on Saturday in the Stater Bros. 300 at Auto Club Speedway, bringing home a solid 22nd place finish. Townley, a Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender in 2009 started the 300-mile event in the 14th position, but due to a long green flag run and tight handling conditions the 19-year-old Watkinsville, GA native lost positions early on and even went two laps down to the leader. After numerous pit stops to diagnose the tight handling conditions, Townley began running his fastest lap times in the closing laps of the event, but because he was the only car two laps down to leader, Kyle Busch the No. 09 Zaxby's Ford Fusion would end the 150-lap event in the 22nd position.

Raybestos Rookie Race: Townley was the fourth highest finishing Raybestos Rookie following the Stater Bros. 300. Currently, Townley sits sixth in the 2009 Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings with 15 points; only eight points behind leader, Brendan Gaughan.

Points Check: Following the Camping World 300 at Daytona International Speedway, the No. 09 team received a penalty from NASCAR. The infraction was discovered on February 10th during opening-day inspections, and part of the fine was 100 owner/driver points. Therefore, after two top-25 finishes in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, the No. 09 team is sitting 40th in Driver points and 43rd in Owner points. Both have 97 points and are 263 points behind the leader. Without the 100 point penalty, John Wes would be sitting comfortably in 14th and owner, Jay Robinson would be ranked 15th.

Co-Owner, Robby Benton has decided to follow the steps to appeal the penalty.

This Week's Zaxby's Ford: John Wes Townley will pilot chassis No. 028 in the Sam's Town 300. Built new for the 2009 season, the chassis will be making its debut at the 1.5-mile oval this weekend.

John Wes Townley Live: John Wes, along with fellow Raybestos Rookie drivers from the NASCAR Nationwide Series, will be participating in the Raybestos Rookie Cooking Challenge at the ESPN Zone in Las Vegas. Drivers will be instructed in basic cooking skills on how to prepare healthy and delicious meals. The drivers will then roll up their sleeves and prepare some of the dishes they've learned. Kids from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Las Vegas will be on hand to watch and judge in this pseudo Iron Chef competition. The event is scheduled for Thursday, February 26 at ESPN Zone Las Vegas and is scheduled to run from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.

John Wes Townley:

You have never raced at Auto Club Speedway, what are your thoughts on making your debut there?

"I feel pretty good about this weekend. I haven't raced at Las Vegas, but I do have prior experience at Charlotte and everyone tells me that it drives very similar. I look at it this way though, I had never seen Fontana either, but Brad did everything in his power to get me ready for that race. He had Biffle drive me around the track, brought Carl Edwards over to give me advice and had videos of pas t races for me to watch. He prepared me so well that when I finally hit the track, I had a great idea of where to hit my marks and what to expect, I have no doubt in my mind he will do the same thing in Vegas."

-credit: rabr

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Brendan Gaughan , John Wes Townley , Kyle Busch , Robby Benton