Townley Finishes 26th at Bristol after Late Race Contact Contact with another competitor ruined a top-15 run for John Wes Townley in Saturday's Scott's Turf Builder 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, relegating the ...
Townley Finishes 26th at Bristol after Late Race Contact
Contact with another competitor ruined a top-15 run for John Wes Townley in Saturday's Scott's Turf Builder 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, relegating the Richard Childress Racing driver and the No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet team to a 26th-place finish despite running as high as fourth during the 300-lap race.
Townley now sits 20th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver point standings, trailing 19th by just 11 markers.
During the first of two practice sessions on Friday, Townley spun and made contact with the turn-two wall, causing the No. 21 Zaxby's team to switch to a back-up car. The resulting limited practice time did not seem to hinder the 20-year-old Watkinsville, Ga., native, who was able to qualify 14th for Saturday's Scott's Turf Builder 300 with a 15.700-second lap around the .533-mile track at a speed of 122.217 mph. He started the race on the outside of row seven, alongside Kevin Harvick.
Working with championship crew chief Dan Deeringhoff and spotter David Green, Townley entered the Bristol race weekend with high expectations -- his second-best NASCAR Nationwide Series finish of 16th came at the track in 2009--and held his own during the first half of the race by running in the top12.
Townley brought the No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet down pit road for the first of three pit stops on lap 91, taking four fresh Goodyear tires and fuel. Townley restarted 16th and was a mainstay in the top 15 until the field was slowed as the yellow flag waved on lap 198. Townley & Co. elected to stay out during the ensuing caution period, allowing the team to take over the fourth position. Despite the challenge of running on older tires, Townley maintained his position within the top10 until making his third and final pit stop under caution on lap 229 for four tires and a track bar adjustment.
Following his third pit stop, Townley restarted 20th but was able to advance positions through patience and smart driving. He was running just outside of the top15 when contact, initiated by another competitor just 33 laps shy of the checkered flag, caused extensive damage to the No. 21 Zaxby's Chevrolet and brought out the 11th and final caution of the day. Townley settled for 26th in the final running order, completing 267 of 300 laps to post his first DNF (Did Not Finish) of the season.
Justin Allgaier earned his first career NASCAR Nationwide Series victory, holding off a late-race charge from Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski. Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top-five finishers.
Townley will participate in an ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards test session at Talladega Superspeedway next week. The next NASCAR Nationwide Series race is the Nashville 300 at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday, April 3.
JOHN WES TOWNLEY:
"Bristol was a bit of a challenge to the Zaxby's Chevrolet team this weekend. After missing out on so much practice time on Friday, I wasn't sure what to expect on Saturday. But, we ended up with a great qualifying run and we were able to avoid some of the on-track incidents that often plague drivers at Bristol until the end. I thought we were going to be able to get a career-best finish until that accident. Dan [Deeringhoff, crew chief] and the guys did a great job and I am proud to be a part of this RCR organization."