John Wes Townley Bets on Fuel, Hits It Big in Las Vegasby Kyle Pokrefky October 4, 2015 0 comments
LAS VEGAS — John Wes Townley hit the jackpot at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday night, outlasting his competition on fuel to take home the victory in the Rhino Linings 350.
The driver of the No. 05 Zaxby’s Chevrolet for Athenian Motorsports passed a pitting Matt Crafton to assume the lead with five laps to go and managed to coast to the finish line ahead of a hard-charging pair of Red Horse Racing drivers.
The win for Townley is the first of his Camping World Truck Series career and comes in his 87th start in the series.
“This is awesome,” Townley said of his maiden win. “When I saw Crafton run out of fuel, I remember thinking ‘at this point, it’s my race to lose.’ I was just really trying to be conservative and I don’t think I would’ve been able to be conservative without my spotter – I really owe it up to Terry Cook at the top. It was the hardest five laps of my life.”
Rolling across the finish line behind the 25-year-old from Watkinsville, Ga. were Timothy Peters, Ben Kennedy, John Hunter Nemechek, Brandon Jones, Daniel Hemric, Tyler Reddick, Crafton, Erik Jones and Cameron Hayley.
Peters and Kennedy both nabbed (or in Kennedy’s case, tied) their best finishes of the 2015 season with their respective performances.
While Townley and the Athenian crew celebrated their win, the NASCAR world also had their ears turned towards any medical updates surrounding Brad Keselowski Racing’s Austin Theriault.
Theriault was involved in a Lap 15 accident that involved his Brad Keselowski Racing teammate, Reddick.
As Reddick spun down the race track in Turn 4, his No. 19 Ford clipped Theriault’s No. 29 Ford and sent Theriault’s truck headfirst into a non-SAFER barrier covered wall on the exit of Turn 4.
Theriault was loaded onto the track’s ambulance by stretcher and was later airlifted to a local hospital for further evaluation.
Reddick, a contender for the drivers championship, managed to rebound from his early accident to finish inside the top-10. The dirt track graduate was unable to make up many points in the drivers standings with five races to go as both title rivals Crafton and Jones finished right behind him in eighth and ninth.
Jones remains on top of the mountain in the drivers standings – now holding a four-point lead over the two-time defending series champion, Crafton.
The Camping World Truck Series now makes their way back to the southeast for the next event on their calendar – the Fred’s 250 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Top-10 Finishers of the Rhino Linings 350
- 05 – John Wes Townley – Chevrolet – Athenian Motorsports
- 17 – Timothy Peters – Toyota – Red Horse Racing
- 11 – Ben Kennedy – Toyota – Red Horse Racing
- 8 – John Hunter Nemechek# – Chevrolet – SWM-NEMCO Motorsports
- 33 – Brandon Jones# – Chevrolet – GMS Racing
- 14 – Daniel Hemric# – Chevrolet – NTS Motorsports
- 19 – Tyler Reddick – Ford – Brad Keselowski Racing
- 88 – Matt Crafton – Toyota – ThorSport Racing
- 4 – Erik Jones# – Toyota – Kyle Busch Motorsports
- 13 – Cameron Hayley# – Toyota – ThorSport Racing
Top-10 in the Drivers’ Standings after Round 18 of 23
- 4 – Erik Jones# – Kyle Busch Motorsports – 701 | Leader
- 88 – Matt Crafton – ThorSport Racing – 697 | -4
- 19 – Tyler Reddick – Brad Keselowski Racing – 685 | -16
- 98 – Johnny Sauter – ThorSport Racing – 650 | -51
- 14 – Daniel Hemric# – NTS Motorsports – 596 | -105
- 17 – Timothy Peters – Red Horse Racing – 595 | -106
- 13 – Cameron Hayley# – ThorSport Racing – 584 | -117
- 05 – John Wes Townley – Athenian Motorsports – 565 | -136
- 11 – Ben Kennedy – Red Horse Racing – 545 | -156
- 23 – Spencer Gallagher# – GMS Racing – 533 | -168
# = Rookie.
Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images