Home News Former NASCAR driver killed in Georgia during double shooting

Former NASCAR driver killed in Georgia during double shooting

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John Wes Townley being introduced at Bristol Motor Speedway for the 2015 Food City 300. – Author : Nascarking


Alex Andrejev

The Charlotte Observer

Former NASCAR driver John Wes Townley was killed Saturday in a double shooting in Athens, Ga., according to a report by the Athens Banner-Herald. He was 31.

The report said that police responded to shooting in the Five Points neighborhood on Saturday night, and that Townley and a 30-year-old female were shot and transported to a local hospital, where Townley died of injuries. Townley is a native of nearby Watkinsville, Ga.

Athens-Clarke County police department spokesperson Lt. Shaun Barnett told the Athens Banner-Herald that the suspect is a 32-year-old Dunwoody man who was known to the victim and, based on preliminary information, the shooting appeared to be related to domestic violence. The investigation is ongoing.

Townley made 76 Xfinity Series starts and 110 Truck Series starts between 2008 and 2016. He won one Truck Series race in 2015 at Las Vegas with sponsorship from Zaxby’s, the Athens-based chicken chain co-founded by Townley’s father, Tony Townley.

Members of the NASCAR community reacted to the news of Townley’s death on social media Sunday, ahead of NASCAR’s rain-delayed Cup race at Talladega.

“Damn. Rest Easy JWT. Heartbreaking,” tweeted Cup driver Bubba Wallace.

Xfinity Series driver Josh Williams tweeted that he is “at a loss for words.”

“RIP John Wes,” Williams tweeted. “Thinking of the entire Townley family.”

©2021 The Charlotte Observer. Visit charlotteobserver.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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