THE LADY IN BLACK PROVED TO BE TOO TOUGH TO TAME FOR JOHN WES TOWNLEY Darlington, SC (5-10-09) -- Darlington Raceway lived up to its name as "The Track Too Tough to Tame" in Friday night's Diamond Hill Plywood 200 after hard contact with the...
THE LADY IN BLACK PROVED TO BE TOO TOUGH TO TAME FOR JOHN WES TOWNLEY
Darlington, SC (5-10-09) -- Darlington Raceway lived up to its name as "The Track Too Tough to Tame" in Friday night's Diamond Hill Plywood 200 after hard contact with the wall resulted in a 34th-place finish and a DNF for John Wes Townley and RAB Racing.
Due to the less than desired result, the No. 09 team slipped 61 points in the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship owner's standings but remain in the 35th position, 142 markers outside the top-30.
The Lady showed no mercy to the No. 09 team as the Raybestos Rookie contender, Townley received his "Darlington stripe" in just the first lap of final practice Friday morning. However, the 19-year-old Watkinsville, GA native would finish final practice in the 30th position with a fast lap of 29.246 seconds (168.146 mph).
Rain settled over the southern state of South Carolina beginning Friday afternoon forcing NASCAR to cancel qualifying. The starting grid was set based on the 2009 NASCAR owner's point standings, lining John Wes Townley and the No. 09 Zaxby's Ford up on the inside of row 18 in the 35th position.
Over the opening laps of the 153-lap event Townley made a slow crawl towards the front of the 43-car field and was sitting in the 28th-position by lap 13. However, on lap 17 the No. 09 Zaxby's Ford brushed the wall off of turn 4. Townley was able to regroup but lost two positions on the race track and eventually went one lap down to race leader, Kyle Busch by lap 27.
When the evening's third caution flag was displayed on lap 43 for an accident in turn 4 Townley was running in the 29th position, one lap down.
Crew chief Brad Parrott called the No. 09 machine down pit road for a track bar adjustment, wedge adjustment, four Goodyear Eagles, fuel, and also pulled out the right side fenders. Townley would restart 31st when green flag racing resumed on lap 47.
Just four laps later the No. 09 machine would fall victim to the No. 1 machine of Mike Bliss. Although, Townley would go for a spin on the frontstretch, he managed to keep it off the wall. Four tires and fuel were in order for the No. 09 as he made his second trip down pit road. Townley would restart 29th on when racing resumed on lap 53.
Townley would gain two positions but fall another lap down to race leader Kyle Busch over the next 30 laps. When the evening's fifth caution flag was displayed for an accident in turn 2, Townley would bring the No. 09 machine down pit road for a track bar adjustment, four tires and fuel. Townley would restart 27th on lap 96.
Over the next 20 laps Townley would run just outside the top-25. However on lap 118 the No. 09 machine would get in the wall in turn 3. Extensive damage to the right side would force Townley down pit road.
The Zaxby's Racing team diagnosed the No. 09 Ford with a bent rear end housing and ultimately spend six laps in the pit fixing right side damage, making a track bar adjustment and changing two right side tires. Townley would return to the track in the 33rd position eight laps down to the leader.
With 28 laps remaining Townley would take the Zaxby's Ford to the garage due to throttle problems. The No. 09 team would finish the green-white-checker event in the 34th position, 36 laps down to race winner, Matt Kenseth.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series will take a week off before heading to Lowe's Motor Speedway for the Carquest Auto Parts 300 on Saturday, May 23rd.
However, as part of a joint venture with Billy Ballew Motorsports Townley will pilot the No. 09 Zaxby's Toyota Tundra in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Friday night, May 15th.