AVONDALE, Ariz. (November 7, 2008) – In the closing laps of the Lucas Oil 150 it looked as though John Wes Townley might get his best career finish in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. He moved into 11th place with 16 laps to go, but only a few laps later contact with another truck took him out of contention.
Townley was forced to start the race in a back-up truck after hitting the wall during his second lap of qualifying hours before the race. The Zaxby’s team quickly prepared the back-up truck and Townley started in the rear of the field when the green flag dropped. Although the truck was a little free, he gained some track position and settled into 22nd place.
The first pit stop of the night came on lap 64 under caution. The crew changed four tires, added fuel and made a track bar adjustment in 15.7 seconds. Townley returned to the track in 22nd place when the race resumed on lap 69.
The truck was handling better and Townley was able to move up through the field. He was up to 15th place by lap 105, and on lap 126 he moved into 13th. A caution on lap 131 brought a few of the leaders to pit road, but crew chief Chad Norris elected to stay out to keep their track position with so few laps left in the race.
Townley was 12th for the restart on lap 134 and moved up to 11th the same lap. It looked as though a top-10 finish was in sight until a few laps later when he got pinched into the outside wall by Kenny Wallace. The damage to the No. 09 Zaxby’s Ford F-150 was too severe to repair in the remaining laps, so Townley was forced to take his truck to the garage. He was credited with 24th place. Kevin Harvick won the race.
“All day we’ve had some bad luck,” Townley said. “In qualifying we lost some side bite and it just went up into the wall. In the race we had a good run. We held our own out there. It felt pretty solid. We kept consistently passing a couple of trucks and we were running consistent lap times out there. At the end I got a little loose getting off in the corner. I was still hanging with him, I don’t know if he didn’t see me there. He just drove up into me. There’s no telling, it was just a racing incident. I guess it’s something to remember.”
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season finale will be next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday, November 14. Travis Kvapil will pilot the No. 09 Zaxby’s Ford F-150 at Homestead.
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing operates 13 full-time motorsports teams, five in NASCAR Sprint Cup with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; four in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell and Colin Braun; three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun, Travis Kvapil and John Wes Townley; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.