John Wes Townley and the RAB Racing team headed to Martinsville Speedway to compete in Saturday's Kroger 200, where the RAB Racing team proved that they had a Toyota Tundra capable of contending for a top-10 finish, but a late-race incident resulted in an 18th-place finish.
In Friday's dual Camping World Truck Series practices, Townley posted speeds fast enough for the 26th and 29th position, respectively. Saturday morning, the 22-year-old driver toured the .526-mile oval in 20.112 seconds, at an average speed of 94.153mph in qualifying, placing him 26th in the starting lineup for Saturday afternoon's race.
Throughout the 200-lap race, the Watkinsville, Ga., native navigated himself steadily forward, avoiding the carnage typical of short-track racing. By Lap 140, Townley had advanced 16 positions into the Top 10. Unfortunately for the No. 09 team, they were forced to restart on the outside line a number of times, causing them to lose positions as the faster inside line was difficult to join without risking contact. Townley remained patient and avoided several incidents around him, taking the checkered flag in the 18th position.
"The truck was tight at the beginning of the race," said Townley. "But it came around and we began to move forward. We were running in the Top 10 towards the end, but somebody got into us and knocked us back a few positions and we got stuck on the outside. Though I was originally hoping for a top 10 finish, we got the truck back into the top 20 by race's end. But we'll head to Texas and see what we can do."
Despite finishing 18th, Townley held steady at 15th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series point standings. RAB Racing advanced one position, to 16th, in the owner point standings.
RAB Racing PR