John Wes Townley Takes Second Lucas Oil 200 Trophyby Kyle Pokrefky February 14, 2016 0 comments
A strong performance out of Athenian Motorsports’s John Wes Townley landed the driver of the No. 05 Zaxby’s Chevrolet in victory lane at Daytona International Speedway for the second time in his career on Saturday.
Townley claimed the win for the ARCA Racing Series’s season-opening Lucas Oil 200 for the second time in his career with his race win, making for his second career series win and his first since 2013.
Townley led over 30 laps en route to his race victory and showcased his newfound restrictor plate racing prowess by powering his way to the lead on the high side.
“This is just awesome,” Townley said. “We had it planned from the beginning, but plans rarely work out at Daytona, but they did today. The calls Kevin Reed made from pit road were spot on. He was with me for my win here in 2013 and it definitely means a lot to have him back. What a way to start the year. This is really special.
“It was quite a ride there for a while, running three-wide at times, but my spotter [Terry Cook] he really helped me out. He’s won Camping World Truck Series races and I learned so much from him today. I just want to thank Zaxby’s, ARCA and General Tire…this is really cool to be a part of.”
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular crossed the finish line ahead of William Byron, Kyle Weatherman, Chase Briscoe, Frank Kimmel, Bo LeMastus, Kevin Thomas Jr., Willie Mullins, Gray Gaulding and Cole Custer, who completed the top-10.
At times, the race appeared to be a battle of attrition as several contenders that are to compete full-time in ARCA this year fell by the wayside in the middle stages of the race.
Tom Hessert and Josh Williams, both top-five championship drivers from 2015, each encountered tire issues in the race – Hessert’s issue being on Lap 43 and Williams’s on Lap 27.
Hessert and Williams respectively went on to finish 28th and 19th.
Will Kimmel, although having not declared for the full season, appeared to be a contender for his first-ever ARCA race win in the late stages of the race, but dropped out of contention after running out of gas with four laps to go.
The driver of the No. 69 Kimmel Racing Chevrolet rebounded to finish 18th.
Two large crashes took out other race and championship contenders in the early going at Daytona with the first melee breaking loose on the second lap, leading to a red flag period.
As the field progressed through the tri-oval, Mason Mitchell Motorsports teammates Gus Dean and Cole Powell came together after contact from a bump on the
Collected in the wreck apart from the two teammates were Bobby Gerhart, Terry Jones, Shane Lee, Austin Wayne Self, Jairo Avila Jr. and Mark Thompson.
It didn’t take long for the field to find a caution again once they went back to green, slowing down behind the pace car on Lap 18 for a multi-car wreck involving Thompson, Derrick Lancaster and championship contender Matt Kurzejewski.
The ARCA Racing Series will take a month-and-a-half break before returning to action for their next race, the Nashville ARCA 200 at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville on Saturday, April 9th.
Top-10 Finishers of the Lucas Oil 200
- 05 – John Wes Townley – Chevrolet – Athenian Motorsports
- 55 – William Byron – Toyota – Venturini Motorsports
- 58 – Kyle Weatherman – Ford – Lira Motorsports
- 77 – Chase Briscoe – Dodge – Cunningham Motorsports
- 46 – Frank Kimmel – Ford – Team Stange Racing
- 42 – Bo LeMastus – Dodge – Crosley Sports Group
- 22 – Kevin Thomas Jr. – Dodge – Cunningham Motorsports
- 34 – Willie Mullins – Ford – Mullins Racing
- 38 – Gray Gaulding – Ford – Lira Motorsports
- 54 – Cole Custer – Chevrolet – Ken Schrader Racing
Photo Credit: ARCARacing.com