BLOWN TIRE DEFLATES TOP-20 RUN FOR JOHN WES TOWNLEY AT KANSAS Kansas City, KS (10-3-09) -- A blown right rear tire during the Kansas Lottery 300 on Saturday resulted in a 31st-place finish for John Wes Townley in his first NASCAR Nationwide...
BLOWN TIRE DEFLATES TOP-20 RUN FOR JOHN WES TOWNLEY AT KANSAS
Kansas City, KS (10-3-09) -- A blown right rear tire during the Kansas Lottery 300 on Saturday resulted in a 31st-place finish for John Wes Townley in his first NASCAR Nationwide Series appearance at Kansas Speedway.
Although the ill-timed finished took the 19-year-old Watkinsville, GA native out of contention for another top-20 finish, the No. 09 team was able to gain ground in the 2009 owner point standings. Townley and the No. 09 Zaxby's team currently sit 33rd in the standings with 1,908 points; just 48 markers behind 32nd and 478 points outside the top-30.
In time trials Saturday morning Townley lapped the 1.5-mile oval in 31.640 seconds (170.670 mph) posting the 16th-fastest qualifying time of the 51 drivers entered for the 43-car field; lining up the No. 09 Zaxby's Ford on the outside of row eight for Saturday's 200-lap event.
The 43-car field took the green flag in front of an estimated crowd of 81,000 under sunny skies and cold temperatures. The goal for the Zaxby's team this week after coming off a fourth top-20 finish the week before at Dover was to be competitive and finish the race. However, Townley's work would be cut out for him as he radioed in to the crew early on that his No. 09 Zaxby's machine was fighting tight handling conditions.
Following the first caution of the afternoon for an accident involving the 81 machine of Patrick Sheltra a long green flag run would come into play. Townley settled in to the top-20 by lap 12 and was scored one of 28 cars one lap down by lap 30 and only one of 18 cars on the lead lap when the leaders began hitting pit road at lap 55.
However, on lap 59, running 14th, the right rear tire would expire on the No. 09 machine destroying the right rear quarter panel and bringing out the second caution of the afternoon. Townley was able to keep the yellow and blue Zaxby's Ford off the wall and drive the machine to pit road for four tires. It was then that Townley radioed in to the crew that he didn't have any brakes, forcing crew chief Brad Parrott to bring the bruised machine back to the garage to repair the damage and brakes.
Townley returned to the racing surface at lap 89, 30 laps down to the race leader in the 33rd position. The No. 09 would stay out on the track for 50 more laps and gain two more positions before parking the machine on lap 139 due to handling problems and suspension.
Townley would be scored 100 laps down in the 31st-positon and Joey Logano would go on to win his fourth NNS race of 2009.
Up next for John Wes Townley and RAB Racing is the Copart 300 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana California. Townley has one previous start on the 2-mile D-shaped oval starting 14th and finishing 22nd in the 2009 Stater Bros. 300 in February.