What could be more lethal than a race car driving hauling around the track at 200 miles per hour and drunk? While John Wes Townley was not racing at the time, his DUI incident certainly raises concern among NASCAR administrators.
Townley, a driver on the NASCAR circuit, apologized for a highway accident in Athens, Georgia that led to his DUI arrest last month and said he is still being evaluated on whether he has an alcohol problem.
Townley was suspended by RAB Racing for the first Camping World Truck Series race of the season at Daytona and placed on probation by NASCAR for the remainder of the year.
The 22-year-old Townley, 22 said he has abstained from alcohol since he crashed his car in the early morning of Feb. 7th.
Everyone deserves a second chance, right? Unfortunately it wasn’t his first alcohol-related incident. In 2010, Townley was cited for underage possession of alcohol during the Las Vegas race weekend.
Asked if he had an alcohol problem, Townley said he didn’t know.
Townley admits to having had a few drinks with friends the night before the accident and then had gotten up early to drive from Georgia to the RAB Racing shop near Charlotte.
After the crash, he walked to a house and knocked on a door, where the residents called police about a disoriented man who was bleeding.
It is nice to hear he takes complete responsibility for his actions despite the terrible weather conditions that night. It is never a good idea to make the decision to drive after you have been drinking – in any weather conditions.
Townley has not raced in a NASCAR national series event since September 2010. He skipped the remainder of the 2010 season and then all of 2011 to decide whether he wanted to continue racing.
Never successful as a professional driver, Townley is contemplating a career change. Given that this is his second offense, NASCAR may make his decision that much easier.
As part of his punishment Townley will take an Georgia alcohol class and be subjected to counseling. Let’s hope that at 22 he can learn from his mistakes and resurrect his life, if not his career.