NASCAR Trucks: John Wes Townley to miss Saturday’s race at Michigan

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John Wes Townley will sit out this Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway.

In a release, Athenian Motorsports announced that former Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil would take over Townley’s No. 05 Toyota Tundra for the Careers for Veterans 200.

Kvapil’s made four Truck starts at MIS, earning two wins, three Top-5s, and four Top-10s.

This will mark the second consecutive CWTS race that Townley’s missed. On August 1st at Pocono Raceway, Townley crashed during ARCA qualifying and was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.

Townley was later released but was held out of competing in the next day’s Truck Series event, the Pocono Mountains 150. He was replaced by Sprint Cup regular Clint Bowyer, who finished fourth in Townley’s No. 05.

At the time, Townley was hopeful that he would be cleared to compete in last Saturday’s ARCA race at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway. But he ultimately sat out that particular race as a precaution; Brennan Poole served as the substitute driver for his car.

Now, Townley’s having to miss another event.

“It is really hard sitting out and watching someone else drive your truck,” Townley said in a statement. “I am hoping to be back behind the wheel of the No. 05 Zaxby’s truck [next] Wednesday at Bristol.”

The CWTS will only have four days between Saturday’s event at Michigan and the aforementioned UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Rinus VeeKay to drive for Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020

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Ed Carpenter Racing has signed 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay to drive the full 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season, the team announced Wednesday.

VeeKay will drive the No. 21 Chevrolet previously occupied by Spencer Pigot.

“I’m so happy!” the 19-year-old driver from the Netherlands said in a press release. “It’s a dream come true and something we have worked extremely hard for over the last couple of years. To step up from USF2000 to the NTT IndyCar Series in three years is really special.”

In his maiden Indy Lights season this year, VeeKay collected six race victories and seven pole potions. VeeKay previously won the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 championship, and finished second in the 2017 USF2000 standings.

VeeKay’s success in the ladder series caught the attention of Carpenter, who gave VeeKay the opportunity to first test for the team at Portland International Raceway in August.

“I have been following Rinus’s path through the Road to Indy, especially the past two years,” Carpenter said. “It was clear to me that he deserves to be in an Indy car. After his first day in a car at Portland this past season, that feeling became even more apparent. His pace, feedback and demeanor inside the car was very impressive for such a young driver.”

As a driver, Carpenter will be VeeKay’s teammate during the five oval races in 2020, once again returning to the team’s No. 20 entry. An announcement on which driver will pilot the No. 20 on the road and street circuits will be made at a later time.

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