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Wednesday October 20th, 2021 1:56AM

Former NASCAR driver Townley killed in shooting in Athens

By The Associated Press
  Contact Editor

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — A former NASCAR driver was killed Saturday in a shooting in Georgia that also wounded a woman, investigators said.

John Wes Townley, 31, of Watkinsville, Georgia, died in the shooting in a neighborhood around 9 p.m., Athens-Clarke County Coroner Sonny Wilson told the Athens Banner-Herald.

A 30-year-old woman was hurt, but police didn’t give details about her injuries.

Police have spoken to the shooter, who knew the victims. The shooting appeared to be domestic violence related, Athens-Clarke County Police Lt. Shaun Barnett said.

No charges have been filed and the investigation continues, Barnett said.

The Banner-Herald also reports that that suspect was known to the victim and that police say there are currently no charges against him. 

Townley started his racing career competing in Late Models on Georgia's short tracks, including Lanier Raceplex in Braselton, Georgia and Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Georgia.  He biggest win on the Late Model level came in 2007 at Georgia's Senoia Raceway in ASA Late Model Series Southern Division competition.

The following year, Townley made his first career NASCAR National Touring Series start, in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Mansfield, Ohio.

Townley would compete in the top three NASCAR National Touring series for the next eight years, scoring the biggest win of his career in the Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 3, 2015.

John Wes Townley wrote his own page of Georgia racing history by becoming the first Peach State competitor to win in ARCA Menards Series competition at Daytona International Speedway.  He was twice a winner in the series opener at the 2.5-mile speedway, scoring his first win in 2013 and again in 2015.

Townley retired from driving following the 2016 season.

Townley drove a car owned by his father, who was a co-founder of the vehicle’s primary sponsor, restaurant chain Zaxby’s.

  • Associated Categories: Sports, NASCAR News, NASCAR Cup, Death / Obits News
  • Associated Tags: nascar, motorsports, xfinity series, Auto Racing, Camping World Trucks, Stock Car, Short Track, Asphalt, Motorsports Live On WDUN, NASCAR Cup Series
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