After turning the 11th-fastest lap late Thursday in an abbreviated practice session for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway, John Wes Townley rolled off from the inside of row six at the start of Saturday afternoon’s rain-delayed NC Education Lottery 200 on the high-banked, 1.5-mile oval.
But the nighttime chassis setup (the race was originally scheduled for Friday evening) on his No. 05 Jive Communications/Zaxby’s Chevrolet wasn’t receptive to the early afternoon, sun-splashed conditions over the historic speedway, evidenced by the veteran driver free-falling through the field once the green flag finally waved shortly after 1 p.m. eastern on Saturday.
Townley was never in jeopardy of being lapped during the 134 lap race. But that was one of the few bright spots on a frustrating day that saw him post a 16th-place finish.
“The sun came out and our truck was super tight for most of the race,” Townley said. “We tried to loosen it up on the first two stops. It finally helped some, and we started turning some laps times comparable to the leaders. But we had lost so much track position, we just couldn’t play catch up.”
Townley had originally been scheduled to practice and qualify his ARCA car in Toledo, Ohio on Saturday and participate in Sunday’s Menards 200 at Toledo 200. But the Truck Series rain delay at Charlotte Motor Speedway forced him to withdraw from this weekend’s ARCA event.
Athenian Motorsports and Townley will trek up the east coast this week to run the NJMP ARCA 150 presented by Unique Pretzels at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.J. on Saturday.
“I’ve race there before in ARCA and it’s a challenging road course,” Townley said. “I had a chance to go up there a few weeks ago and turn some laps in a street car. Road racing is not my strength, but we’re going to give it our best shot and see how things turn out.”
Athenian Motorsports PR