Contact on Pit Road, Flat Tire Leaves Townley 25th at Talladega
John Wes Townley proved RAB Racing's No. 09 Zaxby's Toyota Tundra was fast in practice, but unfortunately the team was unable to prove it in finishing position after a couple of late-race faux pas relegated Townley to a 25th-place finish.
In Friday's lone Camping World Truck Series practice, Townley posted speeds fast enough for the ninth position. Later that evening, the 22-year-old driver toured the 2.66-mile tri-oval in 54.853seconds, at an average speed of 174.576 mph in qualifying, placing him 18th in the starting lineup for Saturday afternoon's race.
From the drop of the green flag, the Watkinsville, Ga., native raced between 23rd and 12th, 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 20, but had a right front tire go down after an incident with the No. 51 truck on pit road. This gaffe forced Townley to bring his Toyota Tundra to the attention of the Chris Rice-led crew under green flag conditions, whereupon he received a speeding penalty exiting pit road. These indiscretions saw Townley finish in the 25th position.
"Our Zaxby's Tundra was really strong tonight," said Townley. "It drafted really well. Unfortunately, we had our fender dented in on pit road and it resulted in a flat tire. This set the tone for the rest of the day and our team went into survival mode. I'm proud of these guys and always appreciate their effort. We'll just go on to Martinsville and see if we can get them there."
Despite finishing 25th, Townley advanced one position, to 15th, in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series point standings.
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