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Former NASCAR Driver Killed in Shooting, Investigation Underway

The following article, Former NASCAR Driver Killed in Shooting, Investigation Underway, was first published on Flag And Cross.

Former NASCAR driver John Wes Townley was killed in a double shooting Saturday night in Athens, Georgia.

The Athens-Clarke County Police Department responded to a report of a shooting at about 9 p.m., ACCPD spokesman Lt. Shaun Barnett said, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.

Townley, 31, and a 30-year-old woman had both been shot, Barnett said.

Townley died after being taken to a hospital. The woman was alive with serious injuries, he said.

Police said that a 32-year-old man from Dunwoody, Georgia, was a suspect in the shooting but had not been arrested. They did not identify the man but said they were in contact with him.

Barnett said the incident has a link to domestic violence.

According to Classic City News,  the house where the incident took place was occupied by Laura Townley, who married the former NASCAR racer in 2018 and from whom Townley was seeking a divorce.

The newspaper reported that Townley had an ax with him when he entered the house. Police would not confirm whether that was accurate.

Townley’s death was mourned on social media.

Townley began racing at the age of 19 in the Xfinity Series but crashed in seven of his 26 starts, according to Yahoo Sports.

In his career from 2008 through 2016, he made 76 Xfinity Series starts and 110 Truck Series starts. He finished first in the 2015 Truck Series race in Las Vegas.

Townley began competing in the Truck Series in 2012.

In 2015, he finished eighth overall, with eight top-10 finishes in 23 starts.

Townley’s father, Tony Townley, is a co-founder of the chicken chain Zaxby’s. The chain helped sponsor him throughout his racing career.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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