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Friday, March 30, 2012

John Wes Townley excited to be back racing at Martinsville; apologizes for DUI

NASCAR's John Wes Townley found himself in hot water earlier this year after a little too fun on the town one night.
Now, the driver of the #09 truck for RAB Racing is ready to put it behind him.

He got he requisite apology to his team and sponsors out of the way right off the bat at Martinsville, and put on the 'looking forward' spin.

"It's up to me moving forward to put this behind me and to make better decisions in the future and to really learn from this," Townley said.

He went into some detail about his night out that got him in trouble with the law -- saying it was a combination of late night drinking and early morning driving.

"That night I was having a few drinks with some friends and that morning I had to get up really early to go to Charlotte to go get some seats done and I left really early in the morning. It was really foggy. It was really rainy outside and I ran off the
road and I hit my head pretty bad. You know, I was disoriented. I went up to somebody's door because I left my cell phone back at the house and when that all happened -- that's where I was. But I don't want of those conditions to undermine the decision that I made, because it's on me. It was up to me. I'm the one who got in the car. It was just a perfect storm that everything happened that night. I want to send my deepest apologies to anybody."

He said that hopes to make 'better choices' in the future.
"This was just a horrible lack of judgment on my part," he said.

With sanctions from NASCAR and his team in place, Townley says he is now on the straight and narrow, and is looking forward to racing.
"I feel good about it. It will be great to get back on the race track. I know its poor circumstances coming back, but I'm real excited to get back in the seat. I know the team's really pumped up. They're all ready to go. I know I've got my full support behind them, but I know there's a lot of guys out here that I will have to earn my respect back from them and I'm looking forward to that."

In a move that is not unexpected, Townley said he will likely use his position to speak out against drunken driving in the wake of this incident.

"I think that's really important. I haven't done that yet, but going forward I know that that's something I would like to address as far as this happened to me and it can happen to anybody. I wouldn't wish it upon anybody. It's something very serious. I could have injured people, hurt people really bad and it's very selfish of me. I think that putting that out in the open is something other people could learn by."

And getting back to racing, young Townley is back from a long break and eager to try and prove his critics -- who often cite his penchant for crashing and lack of overall success -- wrong with some strong runs this year.

"Well, back in Richmond I just felt like it was something that I needed to do. I needed to step back and re-evaluate how I felt about continuing on with the sport. I didn't really know where I was at the time and I just needed that time to step back and re-think what I wanted out of life and coming back into it I really just wanted to give it another shot and certainly didn't want to leave it the way I left it. So to answer your question, I really want to get back into it to show some people that I can really perform out there and give it another shot."

I doubt Townley will set the track on fire, as his record is pretty hideous (just search YouTube for "John Wes Townley crash"), but if he can hold his own maybe he can shake the image of a daddy's boy who got his ride without earning it.

I wouldn't bet on it, but time will tell if he can break through and get him talking about his success on track and not his mistakes on and off it.

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