NO ONE SAID IT WAS GOING TO BE EASY; TOWNLEY STRUGGLES IN TEXAS Fort Worth, TX (4/5/09) --Being a rookie in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, as John Wes Townley and the No. 09 RAB Racing team are, there are bound to be bumps in the road along the...
NO ONE SAID IT WAS GOING TO BE EASY; TOWNLEY STRUGGLES IN TEXAS
Fort Worth, TX (4/5/09) --Being a rookie in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, as John Wes Townley and the No. 09 RAB Racing team are, there are bound to be bumps in the road along the way.
After coming off his best start and finish on March 21st at Bristol Motor Speedway, John Wes Townley and RAB Racing struggled in the Lone Star State with a 36th-place finish in Saturday's O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.
A loose handling race car combined with a late-race spin on lap 189 were key contributors to the less-than-desired outcome. As a result, the No. 09 Zaxby's Ford remains 37th in the car owner championship standings and is 91 points outside the top-30. This will require Townley and the RAB Racing team to qualify on time at Nashville next weekend.
Townley, a Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender, rolled off the starting grid for the 200-lap event in the 29th position and ran as high as 24th and as low as 27th. However, due to a long green-flag run Townley also lost one lap to race leader Kyle Busch in the opening 50 laps.
Crew chief Brad Parrott called his driver to pit road for the first round of pit stops under green flag conditions at lap 53 for four fresh Goodyear tires and fuel. Townley was back underway one lap later but was forced to make his way back down pit road for a pass-through penalty for too fast exiting.
The Watkinsville, GA native was scored in the 34th position, three laps down to race leader, Kyle Busch when he returned to the 1.5-mile quad oval on lap 57.
At lap 68, the afternoon's first of four cautions waved for debris as Townley was scored in the 31st position while fighting loose handling conditions. Parrott made the call to bring the No. 09 Ford down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to the left rear. When racing resumed on lap 71 Townley was scored in the 32nd position, three laps down.
The theme of long green-flag runs continued throughout the afternoon and unfortunately the No. 09 Zaxby's Ford would fall off late in a run.
Townley continued to run just outside the top-30 over the next 100 laps and despite a pair of stops to pit road over that stretch the No. 09 machine never felt much better.
On lap 189, running 29th Townley got too high coming off turn 3 and got into the marbles and tagged the wall in Turn 4. The incident would leave extensive right side damage to the Zaxby's Ford Fusion and also a broken right front break rotor, ultimately ending Townley's afternoon early.
When the checkered flag waved Townley was credited with a 36th-place finish, 18 laps down to race winner, Kyle Busch.
Up next for John Wes Townley and RAB Racing is the Inaugural "Dash 4 Cash" race at Nashville Superspeedway. This is the first stand-alone event for the NASCAR Nationwide Series and is the first of four "Dash 4 Cash" events.
If an eligible driver wins at a Dash 4 Cash event, there's an extra $25, 000 added to the winner's purse. The program is open to all NASCAR Nationwide series-only regulars, up-and-comers and those regulars who may not have a full-time ride. The program is unique to the NASCAR Nationwide Series and was designed specifically with series regulars in mind.