EXPANSION OF EXPERIENCE FOR TOWNLEY IN FONTANA Fontana, CA (2/22/09)- John Wes Townley and RAB Racing made their Auto Club Speedway debut on Saturday in the Stater Bros. 300 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, bringing home a solid 22nd place ...
EXPANSION OF EXPERIENCE FOR TOWNLEY IN FONTANA
Fontana, CA (2/22/09)- John Wes Townley and RAB Racing made their Auto Club Speedway debut on Saturday in the Stater Bros. 300 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, bringing home a solid 22nd place finish.
Newly named veteran crew chief, Brad Parrott also joined the team at the 2-mile oval this weekend. Parrott was named crew chief of the No. 09 Zaxby's Ford Fusion on Monday, and spent just one day back in the shop in Concord, NC with the team before making the 3,000-mile tour across the country to call the shots for RAB Racing.
Townley, a Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender, started the 150-lap event in 14th position, but due to a long green-flag run and tight handling conditions, Townley quickly began to lose positions and was scored 23rd on lap 18 and went one lap down to leader, Kyle Busch on lap 27. At lap 39, the No. 09 Zaxby's Racing team performed green-flag pit stops. Parrott called for four Goodyear Eagles, fuel, raised the track bar and pulled a left rear spring rubber to help the tight handling conditions. Townley would restart 28th when racing resumed on lap 42.
At lap 51 the afternoon's second caution flag was waved for an incident with Michael McDowell. Parrott continued the aggressive changes to the No. 09 Zaxby's Ford Fusion with another track bar and spring rubber adjustment. Great work from the RAB Racing pit crew helped earn Townley three positions and Townley restarted 25th.
When racing resumed yet again, Townley voiced that the tight handling conditions were beginning to subside and the 19-year-old rookie ran his fastest lap of the afternoon on lap 62.
Townley ran consistently in the 25th-position for the next 30 laps. At lap 93 the afternoon's third caution was waved and Parrott instructed for one more track bar adjustment, an air pressure adjustment, four tires and fuel. The No. 09 Zaxby's Ford would restart 23rd with 51 laps to go.
When the last caution flag was waved on lap 125 for a single car incident with Sprint Cup Series regular, Gre g Biffle, Parrott made the call to bring the 09 machine down pit road for its final pit stop for the team's final set of tires and one can of fuel. The Watkinsville, GA native would restart 22nd with 25 laps to go.
Because Townley was the only car two laps down at this point, he was unable to gain any more positions on the race track. He would finish the 300-mile event in the 22nd position.
Townley was the fourth highest finishing Raybestos Rookie and currently sits second in the 2009 Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings with 17 points; only six points behind leader, Brendan Gaughan.
"Chemistry is hard to find in racing," said Town ley. When you find it, you know it. This was the first weekend I worked with Brad (Parrott), and he went into it going the extra mile. He got Greg Biffle to take me for a ride around the track, and brought Carl Edwards over to talk to me and even had me doing my homework and watching videos of past races. He went the extra mile and it really helped."
Next up for Townley is the Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, February 28th. Townley will be making his debut at the 1.5-mile oval.