Fontana: John Wes Townley preview

* RCR in SoCal ... In 33 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at Auto Club Speedway, RCR boasts three poles (Kevin Harvick -- Apr. 2003, Clint Bowyer -- Sept. 2005 and Sept. 2006), one win (Jeff Burton -- Sept. 2007), 13 top-five and 21 top-10...

* RCR in SoCal ... In 33 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at Auto Club Speedway, RCR boasts three poles (Kevin Harvick -- Apr. 2003, Clint Bowyer -- Sept. 2005 and Sept. 2006), one win (Jeff Burton -- Sept. 2007), 13 top-five and 21 top-10 finishes. RCR-prepared Chevrolets have an 11.5 average start, a 10.9 average finish, led 252 laps and have completed 97.7 percent (4,890 of 4,952) of the laps contested at the moderately-banked D-shaped race track.

* This Weekend's Zaxby's Chevrolet Impala at Auto Club Speedway ... John Wes Townley will pilot Chassis No. 066 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series stable. Last season, Clint Bowyer drove this former No. 29 racer to Victory Lane at Dover International Speedway last September, while Jeff Burton finished third in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Casey Mears finished second at Texas Motor Speedway in November. Stephen Leicht also raced this Impala five times in 2009, finishing sixth and 11th in both Nashville Superspeedway events, eighth at The Milwaukee Mile, sixth at Gateway International Raceway and 10th at Iowa Speedway. In 2008, Bowyer drove this Chevy to a ninth-place finish at Kentucky Speedway and a seventh-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway, while Stephen Leicht drove it to an 18th-place finish at Texas in October.

* Fontana Stats ... In two NNS start at ACS, Townley boasts an 18.5 average start and a 19.5 average finish. The last time NASCAR's junior circuit visited the two-mile Southern California race track, Townley finished 17th, his second-best career finish in NNS competition.

* Finishing Strong ... The Watkinsville, Ga., native has completed all but two laps contested (99.3 percent) at Fontana and has never finished outside the top 25.

* Rearview Mirror ... Townley and the Dan Deeringhoff-led team started fifth and finished 23rd in the season opener last weekend at Daytona International Speedway. Townley was a mainstay in the top 15 in the beginning of the 300-mile event, but fell two laps down after a pit road violation and involvement in a multi-car accident.

JOHN WES TOWNLY:

Do you enjoy coming to California and racing on this style of race track?

"The layout of the track is very similar to Michigan with the exception that it's not banked quite as much. Although, it's not quite as fast. You can't roll as much corner speed, but California is a lot of fun. You can run multiple lines on the track. I'm excited about this race, especially going into it this year. I know we have great equipment, a great team and great experience to apply there, so I'm real excited about it."

What is the corner speed like going into turn one, especially if you are on fresh tires or on a qualifying run?

"Oh, it's quite exhilarating. The one that I've learned about this particular track is that you actually have to make yourself stay off of the wall. You don't really look into the corner for the apex until you actually have to look at the wall and make sure you stay off of the wall. If you're not careful, it's real easy to turn off early into that corner because the apex is actually further around the corner than you think it is. You have to make yourself stay off of the wall while being wide open, and that's very exhilarating and a lot of fun."

-source: rcr

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jeff Burton , Kevin Harvick , Casey Mears , Clint Bowyer , Stephen Leicht , John Wes Townley
Teams Richard Childress Racing