DISSAPOINTING PHOENIX DEBUT FOR JOHN WES TOWNLEY AND RAB RACING CONCORD, NC (11/10/08) John Wes Townley and the No. 09 RAB Racing team encountered multiple mishaps in their Phoenix International Raceway debut, resulting in a 38th-place finish in...
DISSAPOINTING PHOENIX DEBUT FOR JOHN WES TOWNLEY AND RAB RACING
CONCORD, NC (11/10/08) John Wes Townley and the No. 09 RAB Racing team encountered multiple mishaps in their Phoenix International Raceway debut, resulting in a 38th-place finish in the Hefty Odor Block 200 Saturday afternoon.
With 50 cars attempting to make the 43-car field, Townley knew he would be forced to make the field on time. After posting a first lap time of 27.994 seconds (128.604 mph), which was good enough to make the field, Townley lost control of the No. 09 machine on lap two, forcing the team to bring out a back-up car.
Townley rolled off the starting grid 43rd but quickly made work of the cars in front of him and was sitting in the 34th position when the afternoon's first caution flew at lap 21 for debris. Four fresh Goodyear Eagles, fuel and a track bar adjustment were in order for Townley as the crew sent the Zaxby's/SPS Ford Fusion out in the 32nd position.
Townley was able to advance a few more positions before the afternoon's second yellow was waved for debris. Crew chief, Blake Bainbridge opted to keep the No. 09 Zaxby's Ford out on the track and Townley would restart the event in the 25th-position.
When the field went back to green, Brian Ickler, driver of the No. 55 machine, did not get going, and Townley got into the back of him taking with him his rear bumper bar. Fortunately the caution flag was waved at lap 46 and Townley came down pit road to remove the bar from his grill and took two right side tires and fuel.
When the field went back to green at lap 52, Townley was scored in the 31st position and would remain there for the next 11 laps until a spin on lap 63 which ultimately sent him into the frontstretch wall.
"It is so frustrating to finish the weekend like we did," stated Townley. "I struggled this weekend in turn four and I let it get the best of me. My team worked so hard preparing the back-up car after qualifying and I felt like we were pretty decent today until the accident. I know I have had a lot of bad luck the past few weekends but I know it's not the mistakes you make, but how you recover from them. We will re-group and focus on Homestead for next week."