Darlington: John Wes Townley preview

Fast & Fun Facts: * John Wes Townley and RAB Racing will be making their debut at Darlington Raceway this weekend. * When testing is banned in NASCAR you find alternative ways of getting laps around tracks you have never seen...

Fast & Fun Facts:

* John Wes Townley and RAB Racing will be making their debut at Darlington Raceway this weekend.

* When testing is banned in NASCAR you find alternative ways of getting laps around tracks you have never seen before. Therefore, John Wes Townley spent two days this week making laps around Darlington Raceway in a SimCraft Simulator. The simulator is designed to provide the driver with a true-to-life racing experience. Three degrees of freedom; roll, pitch and yaw let the driver experience realistic car racing forces while software integration enables drivers to learn the nuances of virtually any racetrack. For more information on SimCraft visit www.simcraft.com

* Townley will return to his home track, Lanier National Speedway in Braselton, GA on Saturday, May 10th to compete in the Georgia Asphalt Series race that was previously schedule for May 3rd but got rained out. However, teams were able to practice before the event was called due to rain and John Wes' No. 09 Zaxby's Ford was one of the fastest cars on the track.

Last Time Around-Richmond: The 19-year-old Raybestos Rookie contender was the 32nd car out of 48 cars to take time during Friday's time trials at Richmond International Raceway. His lap of 22.67seconds was not good enough to lock the No. 09 Zaxby's Ford in the field and Townley was one of five other drivers that failed to qualify. This is the first race in 2009 that John Wes Townley and RAB Racing missed.

This Week's No. 09 Zaxby's Ford: Townley will pilot chassis No. 024 in the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 at Darlington Raceway this weekend. This was a previous chassis from the Roush-Fenway Racing stables that Matt Kenseth drover to victory lane in 2006. This is also the same chassis that Townley piloted in 2008 at Dover and Charlotte and in 2009 at Bristol, bringing home his first career top-20.

After 9: After 9 of the scheduled 35 events on the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule, Townley has three top-20 and five top-25 finishes. The Watkinsville, GA native has an average starting position of 26.25 an average finish of 25.62 and has completed 84.02% of all laps attempted (1283 out of 1527).

Points Check: After failing to qualify for the Lipton Tea 250 at Richmond International Raceway, John Wes Townley drops five spots in driver points to 29th with 589 points. Owner, Jay Robinson slipped three spots to 35th with 611 points; 115 points outside the top-30.

Rookie Race: Townley remains 6th in the 2009 Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings with 58 points; just six points behind 5th-place Michael Annett and 30 markers behind new leader, Michael McDowell.

On Board with John Wes Townley and RAB Racing: The No. 09 Zaxby's Ford will be stocked with an in-car camera this weekend at Darlington Raceway so get up to speed and in the cockpit with John Wes Townley as he goes over 200 miles at the "Lady in Black".

John Wes Townley:

How did not making the show in Richmond open your eyes for this weekend knowing you have never raced at Darlington and will be required to make the 46 car field on time?

"Not qualifying for the race at Richmond last weekend was really hard for me and my entire team. We are such a good team and have too good of equipment not to be making the show. It proves how much talent there is in the Nationwide garage but more than anything it encouraged me to work harder preparing for this weekend. Like Richmond, I have never raced at Darlington and with testing band we had to come up with alternative ways to get track time. I spent two solid days with a SimCraft Simulator this week just making laps around Darlington. We also plan on heading up to there on Wednesday so I can see the place and get a feel for what they call the "Lady in Black" and I know Brad (Parrott) has other plans up his sleeve to get me the most exposure possible before I qualify on Friday. So, yes not making the race last weekend opened my eyes that this isn't an easy sport but I know I have a good team behind me with great support from my sponsor, Zaxby's and I have no doubt in my mind that we can't come back stronger than ever this weekend at Darlington."

-credit: rab

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Drivers Matt Kenseth , Michael McDowell , Michael Annett , John Wes Townley