John Wes Townley and his Barberitos Racing team headed to Daytona International Speedway to compete under the lights in Friday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series Subway Jalapeño 250. Townley proved that he had a Toyota Camry capable of contending for a top-10 finish, but a mid-race, multi-car incident sidelined the team for a number of laps. The hard work of the RAB Racing team was once again put on display as Townley returned to the track, able to salvage a 25th-place finish.
Townley's Scott Zipadelli-led crew decided to play it safe in Thursday's dual practice sessions, limiting the amount of laps spent on track drafting. Knowing the "big one," the multi-car accident that typically happens at Daytona that eliminates much of the field from competition, can strike at any time - even in practice - Townley's runs were limited to just 16 laps in the first session, where his fastest lap ranked him 18th. Zipadelli felt there was nothing else to gain and everything to lose by participating in the second session, so the No. 99 team elected to sit out the final practice session.
The following afternoon, Townley ran a lap of 51.283 seconds, at an average speed of 175.497 mph, to earn the 19th starting position for the final restrictor plate race of the 2012 season.
From the drop of the green flag on Friday evening, the Watkinsville, Ga., native raced between 20th and eighth, his position changing every lap as a result of the multi-car draft that keeps the field bunched closely together. As the laps clicked off, Townley remained running inside the top 10, when, at Lap 67, the cars of Mike Wallace and Kevin Harvick made contact that triggered the "big one" that collected 14 cars in Turn 2. Unfortunately, Townley could not avoid the incident as he was forced into the outside retaining wall as he attempted to navigate his way through the carnage in front of him. Townley brought the Barberitos Camry to the attention of his RAB Racing crew, where it appeared that the damage sustained would be terminal. However, swift work by the RAB Racing crew saw Townley return to the track by Lap 77, where he logged laps for the remainder of the event, taking the checkered flag in the 25th position.
"Our Barberitos Toyota Camry was great and we ran in the top 10 for a while there," said Townley. "Unfortunately, we just got caught up in someone else's mess while running up front. It's frustrating because we had a legitimate shot at a top-10 finish today and I hate that we were unable to see that through. Now, I am just looking forward to jumping back into the truck next weekend at Iowa Speedway."
RAB Racing PR