About halfway through Friday's Nationwide Series practice, John Wes Townley backed his car into the wall. It was a pretty hard hit, and it immediately necessitated the need for a backup car. And, apparently, a backup driver.
While no official reason was given, Richard Childress Racing's Mike Dillon told Lee Spencer that Townley wasn't feeling too well, so Bowyer will qualify and race the no. 21 Zaxby's Nationwide car.
Townley made his full season Nationwide series debut last year for RAB Racing. Townley struggled, and while part of those struggles could be attributed to lesser equipment, Scott Riggs has done pretty well in RAB's unsponsored car this year.
Because Townley's father is the co-founder and CFO of Zaxby's, a southern based restaurant, he and the Zaxby's sponsorship were a package deal, a big part of the reason that he landed at RCR despite his less than stellar 2009.
2010 hasn't been too kind to Townley, 20, either. He's had trouble off the track, being cited for underage possession of alcohol in Las Vegas, and on the track, where he's just 17th in the standings with no top 10s despite being in some of the best cars on the circuit.
Townley's still very young, so there's no reason to immediately write him off, but the only thing he has to show for his tenure in the Nationwide Series is a bunch of wrecked race cars and a top finish of 15th (which came at Vegas, right after the charge was made public) For Townley's sake, hopefully he can start to turn things around soon before he's viewed even more as someone who got to race because he had considerably more financial means than driving ability.