John Wes Townley Gateway Rewind/Iowa Preview
But a brush with the Turn 2 wall a handful of laps later left Townley coping with an ill-handling Zaxby’s Chevrolet for the remainder of Saturday night’s 160 lap event.
Crew chief Michael Shelton and the Athenian Motorsports team sprang into action during the next caution to patch up the right-rear damage. After lining up 18th on the ensuing restart, Townley managed to charge through the field and narrowly missed posting a top-ten finish on the flat 1.25-mile oval.
“I’m not sure what happened there (on the brush with the wall),” said Townley, who held off a challenge from fellow Georgian, Brandon Jones, on the final lap to finish 11th. “I ran that corner the same way I had all night.
“Overall, it’s not the finish we were hoping for. I really wanted a top five. But we’ll take an 11th and get ready for Iowa.”
Townley will be among the favorites to win Friday night’s American Ethanol 200 at the super-fast .875-mile Iowa Speedway oval.
“The first time I raced at Iowa (in 2007), I’ll admit it wasn’t one of my favorite race tracks,” Townley said. “But I’ve warmed up to the place and enjoy racing there.”
Townley will have an advantage over many of the drivers in Friday night’s truck field. He finished 13th in last month’s XFINITY Series race in Newton, Iowa.
“They must have had a rough winter in Iowa because the racing surface has gotten really rough,” said Townley. “But it will be the same for everybody. I’m confident that our XFINITY Series team will share notes from that race with our truck team and it will pay off for us on Friday night in the No. 05 Zaxby’s Chevrolet.”While Townley competes in Iowa next weekend, Dylan Lupton will pilot the No. 25 Zaxby’s Chevrolet in Saturday night’s XFINITY Series race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. Townley will return behind the wheel of the No. 25 Chevrolet at Daytona on Saturday night July 4th.
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