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John Wes Townley, No. 09 Zaxby’s Ford Fusion Salem Preview

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  John Wes Townley, Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200

John Wes Townley, No. 09 Zaxby’s Ford Fusion Salem Preview

Jessica Caulder
RAB Racing
April 9, 2008

Source: RAB Racing
Concord, NC

Race Info:
Event: Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 by Federated Auto Parts
Date/Time: Sunday, April 13th @ 2:15 p.m.
Distance: 200 laps/111 miles
Track: .555-mile paved; 33 degree banking
2007 Winner: Brad Keselowski
2007 Pole Sitter: Michael McDowell

Fast & Fun Facts:

  • When the green flag falls for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 on Sunday, it will mark the 83rd running of the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Salem Speedway since 1955. No track has appeared on the circuit more times than Salem Speedway.
  • This is the first race on Hoosier’s new short-track radial tire that all ARCA RE/MAX Series teams will be utilizing in 2008
  • John Wes Townley’s first time seeing the .555-mile track was during the test back in late March.
  • Townley comes from short track racing and feels confident going into Sunday’s 200 lapper

    A Look Back: John Wes Townley brought home an impressive 11th place finish at Daytona International Speedway in his first ARCA RE/MAX Series debut. Although the team finished 11th, there were a few obstacles to overcome. On lap 30 Townley fell victim to the ever present “Big One” when two of the leaders got into one another, collecting more than ten cars. The damage to the No. 09 Ford Fusion was minimal and after a few stops on pit road to fix the right front fender and suspension, the RAB Racing team was able to get Townley back out on the track and remain on the lead lap for the remainder for the race.

    Points Check: The RAB Racing team is sitting 10th in points after the No. 52 was penalized following the ARCA 200 at Daytona International Speedway. Driver John Wes Townley and owner, Robby Benton both have 175 points; 5 points out of 9th and only 65 points out of 1st.

    Salem Chassis: Crew Chief Robby Benton and the No. 09 team are bringing chassis No. 009 to the .555-mile oval of Salem Speedway. Justin Marks ran this car in 2007 at Berlin where he finished 11th, Toledo where he finished 11th in the Spring and 7th in the fall, Salem where he finished 20th in the spring and 9th in the fall, and Winchester where he brought home an impressive 5th place finish.

    Testing One, Two, Three, Testing: RAB Racing and other ARCA RE/MAX Series teams tested at Salem Speedway March 26th in preparation for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA 200. This was Townley’s first time on the historic, .555 mile high-banked oval. The team felt that the test was successful; giving John Wes well needed seat time and also learning about the new Hoosier short-track radial tire. The team was able to figure out what changes needed to be made on the car to come back and be competitive for the 83rd running of the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Salem Speedway.

    RAB Racing at Salem: Competitors driving RAB Racing-owned cars have been racing at Salem since 2006 and have made 4 starts. The team has scored two top-ten finishes; 7th in March 2006 with driver Damon Lusk, and 9th in September 2007 with driver Justin Marks. The team has also led a total of 30 laps on the historic .555-mile oval. The team finished 20th at the spring race in 2007 after qualifying the No. 65 Dodge Charger 9th. Driver, Justin Marks, drove his way to seventh place before a cut tire and mechanical issues caused him to fall 20 laps down.

    Rookie Race: John Wes Townley was the second highest running rookie, finishing an impressive 11th at the end of his first ARCA RE/MAX Series and Superspeedway debut at Daytona International Speedway on February 9th. Finishing just five spots ahead of him was rookie, Tom Hessert III in the No. 01 Maaco Auto Painting Ford.

    John Wes Townley Live: If you are making the trip to Salem Speedway John Wes will be signing autographs Sunday, April 13th from 11:30-12:30 p.m. on the track in front of his No. 09 Zaxby’s Ford Fusion.

    Up to Speed: The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 by Federated Auto Parts will begin at 2:15 p.m. on Sunday, April 13th and will be packaged into a tape-delayed, one-hour program on MavTV. MavTV is a new network with male-oriented programming targeting men 18-54. For more information on programming please visit www.mavtv.com. SIM Factory Pole Qualifying will begin at 3:30pm on Saturday, April 12th and can be viewed at www.arcaracing.com on their live timing and scoring board.

    What the team has to say:

    John Wes Townley, driver of the No. 09 Ford Fusion: “Although I have a background in short track racing, I felt that testing at Salem was imperative for me. Before we tested at Salem I had never seen the track. I’ve heard the historic track is demanding and bumpy and can be a difficult track to master, but I feel that we did well as a team; we gained a lot of information about Hoosier’s new tire but most importantly I got seat-time. We were able to figure out what we needed to come back and be competitive, and I feel confident going into the race”.

    Robby Benton, Crew Chief of the No. 09 Ford Fusion: “Testing at Salem was a must for us to get some experience on Hoosier’s new short track radial. We figured out what changes needed to be made for the upcoming race there. I feel confident in the set-up we’ll be returning with and look forward to racing there. I think Hoosier’s new tire will allow for some great racing.”

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