A former NASCAR driver was killed and a woman he attacked was injured in a shooting in Georgia on Saturday.
31-year-old John Wes Townley was mortally wounded in the Athens shooting that police believe was related to domestic violence, the Athens Banner-Herald reported.
Townley, who retired from racing professionally in 2017, arrived with a hatchet at a residence occupied by his ex-wife, Laura Townley, and Zachary Anderson, police said. Townley “attacked Mr. Anderson and Ms. Townley with a hatchet,” the police report said, “and Mr. Anderson fired several shots from his gun.”
Both John Wes Townley and Laura Townley were shot. John lost his life while Laura Townley was taken to the hospital with “serious” injuries but is expected to survive. Police said John Wes Townley and Laura Townley had a recently finalized a divorce. John Wes Townley filed the petition in February.
John Wes Townley is no stranger to the law as he was charged with three misdemeanor counts, including family violence battery back in 2019. Court documents state he threw his wife to the floor and placed her in reasonable fear of the safety of her life. Townley pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to 12 months probation.
Townley competed in 76 NASCAR races from 2008 to 2016, mainly in the Truck Series. His only victory came in 2015 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
You may remember him from a viral fight on the track a few years ago: