Former NASCAR racer John Wes Townley has been killed in Georgia in a shooting. A one-time winner in NASCAR, when and where did Townley record his only win?
John Wes Townley a long-term NASCAR driver
Townley, 31, died in hospital after being being found by police in Athens, Georgia having been shot.
His wife was also shot, sustaining serious injuries in the incident, but is expected to survive.
The investigation is underway, with police saying a third party committed the shooting.
Townley first joined the NASCAR tour in 2008 – attempting to qualify for a handful of XFinity and Truck races.
He made his first NASCAR start at Mansfield Motorsports Park in the Trucks Series that year – finishing 27th.
For 2009, Townley attempted a full-time XFinity season – qualifying for 26 races with a best result of 16th Bristol.
This earned him a move to Richard Childress Racing for 2010 – but he was released from the team after just six races.
He would continue to make occasional XFinity starts until his final one at Talladega in 2016.
Townley also occasionally raced in the ARCA Series. He took two wins in the championship.
They came in 2013 and 2016, both at Daytona.
John Wes Townley NASCAR XFinity stats
- Starts – 76
- Wins – 0
- Top 10s – 0
- Poles – 0
- Best result – 13th – Talladega (2014), Iowa, Chicagoland (2015)
Success comes in NASCAR Trucks
After his dropping by RCR, Townley returned to the Truck Series going full-time from the Martinsville race in 2012.
He recorded over 100 starts in the Trucks Series and was more competitive than in XFinity.
Townley recorded a first NASCAR top 10 at Pocono in 2012 – recording a further 18 such finishes over the next three seasons.
Townley wins NASCAR Trucks at Las Vegas
It would be in 2015 that Townley would post the strongest season of his NASCAR career.
The 2015 Trucks field featured the likes of current Cup racers Erik Jones, Tyler Reddick and Cole Custer.
In Las Vegas, he would record his only win on the NASCAR tour.
Driving for his own Athenian Motorsports team, he took the lead when Matt Crafton was forced to pit for fuel late on.
He crossed the line 3.827s ahead of Timothy Peters to claim the win.
As well as his only win, it would be Athenian’s only in NASCAR as well.
Townley would finish a career-best of eighth in the 2015 Trucks standings, hauling 730 points.
He carried on into the 2016 campaign, but missed the final three races – taking his last start at Martinsville.
In January 2017, Townley announced his retirement from NASCAR racing, as well as the closure of Athenian Motorsports.
John Wes Townley – NASCAR Trucks stats
- Starts – 110
- Wins – 1
- Top 10s -24
- Poles – 2
- Best result – 1st – Las Vegas (2015)