HAMPTON, Ga. (September 1, 2012) – John Wes Townley fought an ill-handling Zaxby’s Toyota Tundra in Friday night’s Grit Chips 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but was able to persevere to record a 19th-place finish.
His seventh top-20 result of the 2012 season allowed Townley to close within 45 markers of 15th place in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver point standings.
Townley recorded the 29th and 16th-fastest times, respectively, in Friday’s twin practice sessions. Later that afternoon, the 22-year-old driver ran a lap of 32.021 seconds, at an average speed of 173.136 mph, to earn the 22nd starting position for the feature later that evening.
From the drop of the green flag, Townley struggled with a tight-handling condition. Crew chief Chris Rice called for major chassis adjustments when the Zaxby’s Toyota hit pit road, but Townley’s struggles continued as changing track conditions caused a loose-handling condition that resulted in the loss of positions.
Although he came to pit road once more for adjustments, the Rice-led crew could not find the exact adjustments needed to regain their lost ground. The laps that Townley needed to advance his positions quickly expired as the race came to a conclusion.
“The day started out pretty decent,” said Townley. “We struggled a little bit, but we got our Zaxby’s Toyota decent for qualifying and the race. We just kind of hung out there, really. The track changed a lot, and I couldn’t get comfortable with the truck. The most important thing here is that we finished the race. We brought it back in one piece, and now we can go race at Iowa. I know a lot of other guys were complaining, as far as having the same issue we had with being really free. We’ll just go onto Iowa and see what we’ve got for them there.”
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers and teams have an off-week next week before heading to Iowa Speedway for the American Ethanol 200.
The race will be televised live on SPEED Saturday, September 15 beginning at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM Satellite Radio will also provide live lap-by-lap coverage.