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Athenian Motorsports was an American professional stock car racing team that last competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, the Camping World Truck Series, and the ARCA Racing Series. In the Xfinity Series, the team last fielded the No. 05 Zaxby's Chevrolet Camaro part-time for John Wes Townley. In the Camping World Truck Series, the team last fielded the No. 05 Zaxby's Chevrolet Silverado full-time for part-time drivers: Townley, Parker Kligerman, Brady Boswell, and Cody Coughlin. In the ARCA Racing Series, the team last fielded the No. 05 Zaxby's Chevrolet Impala part-time for Townley. The team was sponsored by Zaxby's Chicken Restaurants, co-founded by John Wes' father and team owner Tony Townley, and the team name is likely a reference to the company's home in Athens, Georgia. The team closed down in 2017, and sold its owner points to MDM Motorsports' No. 99 team.

Athenian Motorsports, LLC
Athenian Motorsports.jpg
Owner(s)Tony Townley
BaseConcord, North Carolina
SeriesXfinity Series
Camping World Truck Series
ARCA Racing Series
Race driversXfinity Series:
05. John Wes Townley (part-time)
Camping World Truck Series:
05. John Wes Townley, Parker Kligerman, Brady Boswell, Cody Coughlin, Dylan Lupton
ARCA Racing Series:
05. John Wes Townley, Cole Custer
SponsorsXfinity Series:
05. Florida Lottery, Jive Communications, Zaxby's
Camping World Truck Series:
05. Bad Boy Mowers, ESPFANCLUB.ORG, Jive Communications, Zaxby's
ARCA Racing Series:
05. Zaxby's, Jive Communications
ManufacturerChevrolet
Opened2014
Closed2016
Career
DebutXfinity Series:
2014 Aaron's 312 (Talladega)
Camping World Truck Series:
2014 American Ethanol 200 (Iowa)
ARCA Racing Series:
2016 Lucas Oil 200 (Daytona)
Latest raceXfinity Series:
2019 ROXOR 200 (Loudon)
Camping World Truck Series:
2019 Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 (Kentucky)
Races competedTotal: 114
Xfinity Series: 41
Camping World Truck Series: 59
ARCA Racing Series: 14
Drivers' ChampionshipsTotal: 0
Xfinity Series: 0
Camping World Truck Series: 0
ARCA Racing Series: 0
Race victoriesTotal: 2
Xfinity Series: 0
Camping World Truck Series: 1
ARCA Racing Series: 1
Pole positionsTotal: 3
Xfinity Series: 0
Camping World Truck Series: 2
ARCA Racing Series: 1

Contents

HistoryEdit

The team debuted in May 2014 in the Nationwide Series (now Xfinity Series) running a partial schedule. In July 2014, the team expanded their operation into the Camping World Truck Series.[1] In September, it was announced that veteran crew chief Mike Ford would join the team as the crew chief for the No. 25 Nationwide Series team, while Mike Beam would stay on as the crew chief of the No. 05 truck.[2][3] The team also purchased the race shop of Richard Petty Motorsports owned by Boris Said near the Concord Regional Airport.[3]

In November 2014 the team announced it would switch to Chevrolet and run full-time in both the Xfinity Series and Truck Series, with engines supplied by Hendrick Motorsports, and equipment purchased from Kyle Busch Motorsports and the defunct Turner Scott Motorsports (a former Hendrick-affiliated team). Townley would pilot the Truck Series entry full-time and run the majority of the Xfinity Series races.[4][5]

Xfinity SeriesEdit

Car No. 25 historyEdit

The team debuted in the Nationwide Series with John Wes Townley at Talladega in May 2014, finishing 13th.[6][7] They ran car No. 25, which Townley had run the previous year with Venturini Motorsports part-time. The team announced on May 7 that it would compete in 12 additional Nationwide races in 2014, while Townley would continue to run the full season in Trucks with Wauters Motorsports and the ARCA Racing Series with Venturini.[7][8] Beginning at the Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland in July and continuing at Indianapolis in July and Bristol in August, Athenian Motorsports announced a three-race sponsorship with the movie The Identical, running on the hood of the Zaxby's Toyota Camry.[9][10]

In an August 2014 conversation with Motorsport.com, John Wes Townley said that Athenian Motorsports was preparing to run the full 2015 season in the Xfinity Series.[1] The team expanded full-time for 2015, with Townley running 24 Xfinity races. The remaining races were to be filled by a driver with sponsorship.[4] In February, it was announced that K&N Pro Series West driver and NASCAR Next member Dylan Lupton was hired to run a minimum of seven races in the No. 25 starting at Phoenix International Raceway, with continued sponsorship from Zaxby's.[11][12] Lupton qualified 23rd and finished 19th in his debut at Phoenix.[13] Alex Bowman drove two races at Michigan and Indianapolis due to drivers busy competing in their Series. The team withdrew from the October race at Dover, operating on a race-by-race basis for the remainder of the season.[5]

The team returned in 2016 only running in the restrictor plate races.[14] With Rick Ware Racing receiving the No. 25, the team changed to the No. 05, used in its other operations.

Camping World Truck SeriesEdit

Truck No. 05 historyEdit

 
Townley's crew performs a pit stop at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2015

Initially, Athenian Motorsports was to have begun their Camping World Truck Series efforts in 2015 with John Wes Townley.[15] After eight 2014 starts and two top five finishes in the Truck Series however, in July Townley left Wauters Motorsports' No. 5 Tundra, moving to the No. 05 Tundra owned by his father starting at Iowa.[1][16][15] After Townley suffered a concussion at Pocono during an ARCA race,[1][17] Clint Bowyer drove the No. 05 Zaxby's truck for Athenian in the Truck Series race that weekend.[18] Bowyer, who had previously been sponsored by Zaxby's in 2010, finished fourth in the race. 2003 Truck Champion Travis Kvapil replaced Townley at Michigan.[19] Kvapil qualified well and ran up front early, but blew the engine on lap 8. Townley returned at Bristol in August, running an all black 05 Zaxby's Tundra. Townley had a top 15 truck, but wrecked racing young NTS drivers Gray Gaulding and Brennan Newberry.

Townley returned to the No. 05 truck for 2015, with the team switching to Chevrolet.[4] Former Truck Series winner Terry Cook would serve as the team's spotter.[5] Townley would score his first career victory on October 3 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, taking the lead with six laps to go and winning on a fuel mileage gamble.[5] Townley finished eighth in the championship standings.[14]

Townley returned full-time for 2016,[14] though Parker Kligerman drove at Kentucky Speedway due to Townley undergoing treatment for a possible concussion.[20] Next week, 19 year-old Brady Boswell took over the No. 05 ride with Townley still injured at Eldora.

ARCA Racing SeriesEdit

Car No. 05 historyEdit

In 2016, the team ran the No. 05 Zaxby's Chevrolet full-time in the ARCA Racing Series, with John Wes Townley running the majority of the season.[14] The team won its ARCA debut at Daytona with JWT.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Wolkin, Joseph (August 7, 2014). "The race against oneself: John Wes Townley's journey". motorsport.com. Motorsport.com. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  2. ^ "Mike Ford Joins Athenian Motorsports". MRN.com. Motor Racing Network. September 29, 2014. Archived from the original on 8 October 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  3. ^ a b Spencer, Lee (October 20, 2014). "What's old is new again as RPM returns to Mooresville, N.C. shop". motorsport.com. Talladega, Alabama: motorsport.com. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  4. ^ a b c "Athenian Motorsports; John Wes Townley Set to Run Chevrolet Full Time in 2015". Catchfence. November 21, 2014. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d Turnbull, Doug (October 16, 2015). "Townley says win is "affirmation" what he's been doing the last few years". WSB. Archived from the original on 24 October 2015. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  6. ^ http://www.nascar.com/en_us/nationwide-series/standings/results/2014/aarons-312.raceResults.results.html
  7. ^ a b Press Release (May 5, 2014). "John Wes Townley Posts a 13th-Place Finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Talladega Superspeedway in Athenian Motorsports Debut". catchfence.com. Talladega, Alabama: Catchfence. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  8. ^ http://motorsports-[permanent dead link] soapbox.blogspot.com/2014/05/townley-adds-12-nns-races-with-athenian.html
  9. ^ http://www.sportsmedia101.com/motorsports/2014/07/16/nationwide-news-and-notes-indianapolis-race-named-david-starr-john-wes-townley-and-ryan-sieg-get-sponsorship/
  10. ^ https://www.speedwaydigest.com/index.php/news/nationwide-series-news/18122-athenian-motorsports-adds-the-identical-movie-to-no-25-zaxby-s-nationwide-camry-in-chicagoland
  11. ^ "LUPTON LANDS PARTIAL XFINITY SERIES RIDE". NASCAR. February 16, 2015. Retrieved February 16, 2015.
  12. ^ Press Release (February 19, 2015). "NASCAR Next Driver Dylan Lupton Graduates To XFINITY Series". catchfence.com. Concord, North Carolina: Catchfence. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  13. ^ Press Release (March 15, 2015). "Dylan Lupton Captures Top-20 in XFINITY Series Debut; John Wes Townley Looks Ahead To California". catchfence.com. Concord, North Carolina: Catchfence. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  14. ^ a b c d Press Release (January 16, 2016). "Athenian Motorsports and John Wes Townley set to embark on busy 2016 schedule". Catchfence.com. Concord, North Carolina. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
  15. ^ a b Pokrefky, Kyle (July 9, 2014). "John Wes Townley Switches NCWTS Teams". thefourthturn.com. The Fourth Turn. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  16. ^ http://paddocktalk.com/news/html/story-256517.html
  17. ^ Pennell, Jay (August 1, 2014). "John Wes Townley hospitalized after Pocono ARCA wreck". Fox Sports. Retrieved 2014-08-02.
  18. ^ Autoweek Staff (August 2, 2014). "Clint Bowyer to replace injured John Wes Townley for NASCAR Truck race at Pocono". Autoweek. Autoweek. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  19. ^ Estrada, Chris (August 12, 2014). "NASCAR Trucks: John Wes Townley to miss Saturday's race at Michigan". NBC Sports. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  20. ^ "POSSIBLE CONCUSSION SIDELINES TOWNLEY AT KENTUCKY". NASCAR. July 6, 2016. Retrieved July 7, 2016.

External linksEdit