PERSERVERANCE PAYS OFF FOR JOHN WES TOWNLEY IN THE LONE STAR STATE Fort Worth, TX (11-07-09) -- Despite being penalized for an unapproved adjustment prior to Saturday afternoon's O'Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway, John Wes Townley and...
PERSERVERANCE PAYS OFF FOR JOHN WES TOWNLEY IN THE LONE STAR STATE
Fort Worth, TX (11-07-09) -- Despite being penalized for an unapproved adjustment prior to Saturday afternoon's O'Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway, John Wes Townley and the No. 09 Zaxby's Racing team fought hard for an 18th-place finish in the 200-lap dual.
The solid effort was Townley's best finish at the 1.5-mile speedway and his sixth top-20 in 24 starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Additionally, the Watkinsville, GA native gained one position in the 2009 driver point standings and also gained ground on a coveted top-30 spot in the championship owner point standings. The No. 09 entry currently sits 32nd in points just 422 markers outside the top-30.
In Friday evening's qualifying session, Townley toured "The Great American Speedway" in 29.636 seconds (182.211 mph), turning the 27th best time of the session. The effort bested the Watkinsville, GA native's top starting position at TMS by two positions.
Although, the No. 09 Zaxby's Ford was scheduled to line-up on the inside of the 14th row for the start of the 300-mile event, the yellow and blue Zaxby's machine was sent to the rear of the 43-car field and even held in the garage for the opening laps as a result of a NASCAR penalty. When the No. 09 machine finally got out onto the quad-oval, Townley was scored four laps down in the 43rd position.
A long initial green flag run and patient approach had Townley scored in the 34th position by lap 33. As the leaders began making the long trip down pit road at lap 54 for scheduled stops, Townley was able to stay out on the racing surface. A welcome opportunity for relief came at lap 62, when the afternoon's first yellow flag was thrown for debris. Brad Parrott used this opportunity to bring the Zaxby's machine down pit road for service. Four fresh Goodyear tires and Sunoco fuel would set Townley up for the next stint. When racing resumed on lap 64 Townley was scored 29th, only two laps down.
Townley would eventually climb towards the top of the leader board over the next 40 laps but another long green flag run would leave the Zaxby's Ford three laps down running in the 27th position at the halfway point due to the blistering pace set by leader, Kyle Busch.
In the closing 100 laps, Brad Parrott worked on making chassis adjustments to tighten up the Zaxby's machine for Townley. The 19-year-old rookie would go on to finish his second race at Texas Motor Speedway in the 18th-postion, three laps down to race winner Kyle Busch.
With only two races left in the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series season, John Wes Townley and the Zaxby's Racing team head to Phoenix International Raceway for the Able Body Labor 200 on Saturday, November 14th. Townley has two starts at the 1-mile tri-oval with his best start of 32nd and best finish of 36th coming in the spring 2009 Bashas' Supermarkets 200.