SOLID TOP-20 FOR JOHN WES TOWNLEY IN MUSIC CITY Nashville, TN (4/11/09) -- A solid effort by the No. 09 Zaxby's Racing team netted an 18th-place finish for Raybestos Rookie, John Wes Townley in the Nashville 300 at Nashville Superspeedway on ...
SOLID TOP-20 FOR JOHN WES TOWNLEY IN MUSIC CITY
Nashville, TN (4/11/09) -- A solid effort by the No. 09 Zaxby's Racing team netted an 18th-place finish for Raybestos Rookie, John Wes Townley in the Nashville 300 at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday.
The Watkinsville, GA native was the 40th car out of 48 to take time during Saturday morning's qualifying session. His quick lap of 29.677 seconds (161.701 mph) was good enough to lock the 19-year old into the field with an 18th place starting position, placing the Zaxby's Ford on the outside of row nine for the 225 lap feature later that afternoon.
The 43-car field took the green just past 3:00 p.m. Central Time before an estimated crowd of 25,000. Townley began to lose positions early on due to tight handling conditions and settled for a solid-run in the top-25 before making his first pit stop on lap 32 during the competition yellow.
Crew chief Brad Parrott called for four Goodyear tires, fuel, a track bar adjustment and a spring rubber in the right rear to help loosen the No. 09 Zaxby's Ford Fusion; Townley would restart 25th on lap 35.
The tight handling conditions continued for Townley over the next 48 laps. The No. 09 machine began to lose positions one by one and even went down one lap to leader Joey Logano. Therefore, when the afternoon's second caution flag was displayed on lap 83 for debris, Parrott brought the Zaxby's Ford down pit road for a wedge adjustment to help aid handling conditions. Townley would restart 25th, the first car one-lap down to the leader, on lap 86.
However, four laps later an accident occurred in turn four and Townley would capture the Aaron's Lucky Dog Award for being the first car one lap down. The Zaxby's Racing team took advantage of the award and brought the Zaxby's machine down pit road for fuel and a track bar adjustment and due to excellent work by the pit crew, Townley would restart 22nd.
Over the course of the next 100 laps Townley continued to run just outside the top-20 and despite a few trips to pit road the theme of tight handling conditions never subsided for the No. 09. Townley was even scored one lap down to leader Kyle Busch with 25 laps remaining in the 300-mile event.
However, hard work by the Zaxby's Racing team and smart driving put Townley back in contention for the "Lucky Dog" and John Wes would become the recipient on lap 212 when Michael Waltrip's No. 99 machine spun in turn four to bring out the ninth of 10 cautions.
Parrott called the No. 09 down pit road for a final track bar adjustment and sent the Zaxby's machine out for the final five laps in the 21st position.
Townley's top-20 efforts propelled him three spots in the 2009 Owner points to 34th; just 49 markers outside the top-30.
Up next for John Wes Townley and RAB Racing is the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 from Phoenix International Raceway on Friday night, April 17th.