John Wes Townley Martinsville Review/Texas Preview

John Wes Townley managed to salvage an 11th-place finish during a topsy-turvy afternoon during Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.

After qualifying 25th, the 25-year-old driver from Watkinsville, Ga. methodically began marching his way toward the front of the field when the green flag waved over the 32-truck starting field on the .526-mile, paperclip-shaped oval.

Townley quickly cracked the top 15 but was forced to start at the rear of the longer line on the restart following his first pit stop due to an infraction for a loose tire in his pit box.

Last month’s race winner in Las Vegas once again launched his run to the front but was foiled when David Gilliland attempted to make it three-wide just past halfway. The result left Townley with a flat left-rear tire and one lap off the pace. After riding onto pit road on the rim, the Athenian Motorsports over-the-wall team jumped into action and managed to keep the No. 05 Zaxby’s Chevrolet just one lap down.

Ten laps later, Townley captured the lucky dog award and vaulted back onto the lead lap.

After once again start at the rear of the longer line, Townley masterfully picked his way through the field and climbed into the top 10 with four laps remaining.

A late caution forced him to restart on the outside of row five on a green-white-checkered finish. Townley dug hard on the slower outside line at the drop of the green flag but was left with an 11th-place finish.

“We put ourselves in a hole starting deep in the field, but these Athenian Motorsports guys never gave up and we managed to get up into the top 10 there near the end of the race,” said Townley, who is eighth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver standings.

“All in all, it was a decent day. I’m sure we passed more trucks than any other driver out there today.

I’m really looking forward to getting to Texas next weekend. We finished third there back in June and we’re taking the truck we won with at Las Vegas a few weeks ago. Texas should be a really good race for us. I can’t wait.”

Athenian Motorsports PR

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Steven B. Wilson

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