Race Weekend Central

Beyond the Cockpit: John Wes Townley

*Q:* You’ve received some fan criticism for your racing abilities and how you got your start in NASCAR. Do you think it’s fair?*

I think everybody’s got a right to their opinion. As far as sponsorship goes, we’re kind of piecing it out throughout the year. We have different sponsors for different races. But we’re always open as far as that goes. As far as criticism goes, I know everybody has got a pass when it comes to wrecks and things like that. Some of the great used to be known for wrecking all the time, and for me it’s just something that I need to learn from. I just need to get out there and prove myself. I think a lot of things have changed.

*Q: Where are some areas you think you’ve improved the most?*
I think just with my driving in general. I think just known what is a good position to put myself in and as far as being impatient, that’s another good one. There’s a time and place for everything. It’s always good to wait around until it really matters at the end.

*Q: As a driver, how do you get to that point where you know when that time is? Is it trial and error?*
I think that’s a big part of it. I try to listen a lot. Everybody needs to listen to what they’re told. It’s not all trial and error. If I didn’t listen to what I was told, I wouldn’t be here today. But you’ve got to make mistakes in order to learn and in order to get better. That’s a big part of it.

*Q: Rocking was a big weekend for the Truck Series. What was the atmosphere like for you personally?*
There was some pressure. Just getting back to the sport. It’d been a long time since I’d been to a NASCAR race and I knew there were a lot of people that were looking at me out there. There were a lot of things I needed to do out on the track to gain respect and not press any issues. The main goal there was just to finish the race and to have a solid finish and to earn everybody’s respect back and that’s what we did.

I’m still learning, though. We’re still trying to earn respect back and get into the top 35.

*Q: Are there any other historic racetracks you’d like to see added back to the schedule?*
I think Rockingham is a good edition to have back in the sport. There’s a lot of history there. As far as other tracks go, I’m sure there’s a lot of other ones out there that are collecting dust right now, and that’s a shame. But we’ll see where the sport takes it.

*Q: The Truck Series has kind of an inconsistent schedule as far as off weeks are concerned. Are you one of those who think the gaps need to be filled or are you ok with the current amount of races?*
I think for some guys, off weekends are nice to have. I’d rather be racing myself. But as far as the schedule goes, you play with what you have and that’s kind of what we’re doing right now.

*Q: Do you do any dirt or short track racing during the down time?*
We don’t have anything scheduled right now, but I have been entertaining that thought. Racing is racing, and it’s a lot of fun.

*Q: What about off the track? When you’re driving on the open road, do you have any driving pet peeves?*
Driving in the left lane! Being behind somebody and they’re going slow when there’s a perfectly good lane sitting beside you to go slow in and hold up traffic, it gets aggravating. Other than that, there are probably a couple of things, but that’s mainly it.

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