Phoenix: John Wes Townley preview

Although John Wes Townley is a Raybestos seeing a lot of tracks on the NASCAR circuit for the first time in 2009, that is not the case this weekend. Townley made his Phoenix International Raceway debut in the fall 2008 by competing in the...

Although John Wes Townley is a Raybestos seeing a lot of tracks on the NASCAR circuit for the first time in 2009, that is not the case this weekend. Townley made his Phoenix International Raceway debut in the fall 2008 by competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and Nationwide Series events.

Last Time Around-Nashville: Had John Wes Townley been in Las Vegas, NV last weekend instead of Nashville, TN he would have put all his chips on "18". The 19-year-old rookie was 18th in final practice, qualified 18th and finished 18th on the lead lap in the Nashville 300 on Saturday, April 11th.

This week's No. 09 Zaxby's Ford: John Wes Townley will pilot chassis No. 025 at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend. This is a previous Roush Fenway Racing chassis and was last seen at Phoenix in 2008 when Townley made his PIR debut at the 1-mile tri-oval.

John Wes Townley at Phoenix: Townley has made two starts at Phoenix Int'l Raceway; starting 27th and finishing 24th in the 2008 Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 and starting 43rd and finishing 38th in the 2008 Nationwide Series Hefty Odor Block 200.

After 6: After 6 of the 35 scheduled events on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule, Townley has two top-20 and four top-25 finishes. The Watkinsville, GA native has an average starting position on 24.5 an average finish of 25.0 and has completed 83.05% of all laps attempted (1000 out of 1204).

Points Check: After a solid top-20 effort at Nashville Superspeedway Townley sits 29th in the 2009 driver point standings; up five spots from Texas with 425 points. Owner, Jay Robinson moved up three spots to 34th in the 2009 championship owners point standings with 425 points; just 49 markers outside the top-30. Therefore, Townley and the No. 09 RAB Racing team will be required to qualify in the field on time at Phoenix this weekend.

Rookie Race: Townley remains sixth in the 2009 Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings with 43 points; just four points behind 5th place Michael Annett and 20 points behind leader, Justin Allgaier.

A Proven Leader: Although John Wes' history at PIR is a little foggy his crew chief Brad Parrott is a proven leader. The veteran crew chief has one win at the 1-mile tri-oval; showing Carl Edwards to victory lane in the 2005 Arizona 200 presented by Walk the Line.

On Board with John Wes Townley: ESPN has provided an in-car camera to the No. 09 team at Phoenix Int'l Raceway this weekend; get up to speed and in the cock-pit with John Wes Townley as he goes 200 miles Friday evening in the Bashas' Supermarkets 200.

Up to Speed: The Bashas' Supermarkets 200 from Phoenix International Raceway will be televised live on Friday, April 17th beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and will be broadcast worldwide on Sirius NASCAR radio and MRN. Practice for the first Friday night race of the season is scheduled for Friday, April 17th at 11:00 a.m. ET and qualifying is slated for 5:30 p.m. ET.

John Wes Townley:

What are your thoughts on going back to Phoenix where you struggled so much last year?

"Phoenix was a difficult track for me last year, but I did learn a lot by going there and making laps in both the Nationwide car with RAB Racing and the Craftsman Truck Series with Roush Fenway Racing. We had to qualify in on time last year in my Nationwide car, which we did, so I feel confident that we can do it again this year. The track itself is going to be a lot different this time around in the spring than it was in the fall last year, but I have a proven leader in Brad Parrott who has won here before. Myself as a driver and my team have only grown and learned so much from when we were at Phoenix last year so I have no doubt in my mind that I can't get a strong start and a solid finish for Zaxby's this weekend."

-credit: rabr

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Carl Edwards , Justin Allgaier , John Wes Townley
Teams Roush Fenway Racing