The NASCAR world is mourning the death of their friend and former NASCAR driver, John Wes Townley. And today, Bubba Wallace wrote about his heartbreak over his former competitor’s murder.
On Saturday, the Athen’s Banner-Herald confirmed that 31-year-old John Wes Townley was shot and killed in the 200 block of Morton Avenue in the Five Points neighborhood just before 9 p.m. Townley was the son of Zaxby’s co-founder Tony Townley, who owned the Athenian Motorsports team. His son raced with that team.
Townley was taken to a local hospital along with an unidentified 31-year-old female. The ex-NASCAR driver died shortly after being transported. The woman is alive but in serious condition.
Townley had a short but successful career with NASCAR before leaving the sport in 2017. The racer has five top-five finishes and 24 top 10s on his record. He also had two poles in 110 starts and 76 career starts in the Xfinity Series with a best finish of 13th. The driver celebrated one win during his racing career. And today (October 3rd) is the six-year anniversary of that win. Townley was the champion of the Camping World Truck Series at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2015.
In 2015, Townley was already thinking of retiring. And he spoke about his reasons with USA Today.
“I know that as I get older, racers don’t race forever. They retire around 45 or 50. And playing the piano or playing the guitar is something you can do up until you’re like 80 years old or something like that. You can do it to relieve stress and make you forget about life. So I wouldn’t give that up,” said Townley.
Bubba Wallace Mourns the Loss of Former NASCAR Driver
On Sunday, NASCAR’s 22nd ranked driver Bubba Wallace took to Twitter and expressed his heartbreak over losing his friend and competitor.
Damn. Rest Easy JWT. Heartbreaking— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) October 3, 2021
“Damn,” he wrote. “Rest Easy JWT. Heartbreaking.”
Wallace’s fans poured their condolences into the comment section and expressed their own shock over the murder.
And NASCAR analyst Jeff Gluck joined in the conversation when he heard the news.
“Just seeing this shocking and upsetting news,” Gluck captioned. “RIP John Wes Townley.”
The Athens-Clarke County Police believe the shooting is somehow connected to a domestic violence case. Currently, police have one suspect in the crime, a 32-year old man from Dunwoody, GA. Authorities have spoken with the man. But they have not pressed any charges at this time.