Phoenix: John Wes Townley preview

* RCR's NASCAR Nationwide Series History at Phoenix ... In 33 previous NNS appearances at Phoenix International Raceway, two drivers have taken Richard Childress Racing to Victory Lane - Kevin Harvick in 2006 and Clint Bowyer in 2007. * By the...

* RCR's NASCAR Nationwide Series History at Phoenix ... In 33 previous NNS appearances at Phoenix International Raceway, two drivers have taken Richard Childress Racing to Victory Lane - Kevin Harvick in 2006 and Clint Bowyer in 2007.

* By the Numbers ... RCR has compiled a total of 16 top-five finishes, 19 top-10s and two poles at Phoenix Int'l Raceway's one-mile oval.

* This Week's Zaxby's Chevrolet at Phoenix ... John Wes Townley will pilot chassis No. 081 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable in this weekend's Bashas' Supermarkets 200. Clint Bowyer started fifth and finished fourth with this chassis during last fall's NNS race at Phoenix. Townley tested this car at Little Rock in Rockingham, N.C., in January.

* Rise of the Phoenix ... Townley hopes to improve upon his career best Phoenix finish of 23rd that was earned last year. Five races into the 2010 race season, Townley has a 10th-place average starting position and an average finishing position of 22.4, compared with an average start of 24.4 and an average finish of 27.6 at the conclusion of 2009.

* West Coast Swing ... Following Phoenix, Townley will travel to the GM Desert Proving Grounds in Yuma, Ariz., to test the new NNS COT. On Tuesday and Wednesday Townley and fellow RCR drivers Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon and Tim George, Jr. will participate in Bob Bondurant's School of High Performance Driving in Chandler, Ariz.

Phoenix is a short, flat track and tracks with those characteristics have always been strengths of RCR. Will that play to your advantage this weekend?

"I am very excited about going to Phoenix this year because RCR has had a lot of success there in the past. As far as my resume at Phoenix, we haven't had the best luck although last year we fared pretty well with a top 25 finish. I feel very confident going to Phoenix in this equipment and I think we will have a really good showing. It's typically quite an eventful race. There are a lot of obstacles to dodge."

What makes Phoenix such a unique race track?

"It's uniquely shaped. I used to say that it is almost like a miniature Pocono Raceway because of the dog leg on the back straightaway. Turns three and four are so long that it almost seems that way even though you never lift in the dog leg. It's a really interesting track. It's a lot of fun once you get used to it."

Are there differences between night time and day time racing at Phoenix?

"On any track where it gets really hot outside during the day, it can make the car get looser as the track gets hot. At a place like Phoenix, the weather is always pretty dry so I don't really notice much of a difference. There are probably minimal differences."

What's the toughest part about getting around Phoenix for you?

"I have had some problems in turns one and two and maybe coming off of turn four, but mainly just getting into turn one and being able to get slowed down. You just have to make sure that you can get slowed down but, at the same time, carry enough speed so that you can get back on the gas good. In turns three and four, no matter what happens getting in, as long as you can get the car to turn back down and carry a good speed, you will be good off of turn four. It's all about momentum down there. It's just two completely different turns. You almost have to give something up there for your setup."

There are a lot of options for getting through the turns one and two corners, aren't there?

"I've seen a lot of guys get through the corners by running up high, but I've just never found much speed up there. To me it just feels like going up high slows me down. I have found that the fastest way to get around that corner is to just get the car down there on the bottom and carry as much speed through the corner as the track will allow you. I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be a good race."

-source: rcr

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Clint Bowyer , John Wes Townley , Ty Dillon
Teams Richard Childress Racing