Back to News

October 4, 2021

Former driver John Wes Townley, 31, dies in Georgia shooting


Scm Inmemory Townley Tw

John Wes Townley, who made nearly 200 NASCAR national series starts from 2008-2016, was killed Saturday night in a shooting in Athens, Georgia. He was 31.

The Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald first reported Townley’s death Sunday. The newspaper reported that Townley and a 30-year-old woman had been shot and transported to a local hospital, where the former driver later died of his injuries. An investigation is ongoing, police said.

RELATED: Career stats for John Wes Townley

Townley, a Georgia native, competed primarily in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, running on a nearly full-time basis from 2012-2016. He scored his lone Truck Series victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2015, which was also his best full season with an eighth-place finish in the series’ standings.

Townley also competed part-time in the Xfinity Series, making 76 starts, and he was a two-time winner of the ARCA Menards Series’ season-opening race at Daytona. He announced his retirement before the 2017 season, and his family-run Athenian Motorsports team ceased operations.

His father, Tony Townley, was co-founder of the Zaxby’s fast-food chain, which was a frequent sponsor of the younger Townley’s racing efforts.

MUST WATCH