Hagans Racing Signs Donny Lia to ARCA Schedule in '06
NASCAR Modified "Hotshoe" Now Turning Attention To Superspeedways
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (December 10, 2005) -- Hagans Racing has an impressive record when it comes to bringing young drivers into the ARCA RE/MAX Series and turning them into racing's future superstars. Now it will put its impressive team under another new name to the ARCA stock car ranks. Hagans Racing announced today that Donny Lia will look to become the next bright star with the team. The New York native will pilot the Hagans Racing number-9 Dodge for a minimum of eight races in 2006.
"I'm so happy and grateful I could get a deal like this where I can get the big track experience for a great race team like Hagans Racing," said Lia. "I know I'm going to have a ton of fun and also get some good experience and I hope that I can get the job done. Once I get the experience and earn some respect, I'm not going to do anything other than go after ARCA wins; I'm not here to mess around."
In his short racing career, the 25-year-old Lia has become a proven winner and championship contender. Lia comes to Hagans Racing after a successful three-year stint in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour where he was the 2003 Rookie of the Year. He won a race in both his rookie and sophomore seasons and added two more victories in 2005. In addition to that, Lia has won some of the top unsanctioned Modified races in the country, including the 2004 North vs. South Shootout in North Carolina and the $10,000 outlaw modified race in Massachusetts. It is that winning history and attitude that team owner Matt Hagans feels will bring plenty of success to his organization with Lia behind the wheel.
"I don't think there's a more competitive short track series than the NASCAR Modifieds. A lot of pros have started there," said Hagans, who racked up four wins with Joey Miller as their driver this past year. "Donny has done so well with the Modified and he's been so fast in everything he's been in. He's a proven winner. He's won a lot of races and he's on a fast track to going forward and we feel we can be successful together in the ARCA RE/MAX Series."
Matt Hagans has been successful in everything he has put his mind to, whether it's his Eagle Creek Aviation business in Indiana or his race team. In 2005, Hagans Racing finished second in the ARCA-RE/MAX Series standings with driver Joey Miller. Hagans has built a race team that is capable of bringing a young driver to success on the race track and that's part of what Lia is excited about.
"I have always gone to the track to win," said Lia, who began his career in Legends cars. "I'm not expecting to do anything different with this opportunity. Matt Hagans is a real competitive person and a straight-shooter, plus there's a great bunch of guys with the team. I worked with them in a Hooters Pro Cup event earlier in the year (at the Bristol Motor Speedway) and I learned that they have the same mentality that I do at the track. They simply want to win. There's no other option with this race team and I like that. I go out there to win and Matt does the exact same thing, so together we'll make a really strong combination."
"Donny and his family are all very competitive and they're there to win and not finish second," echoed Hagans. "That fits right into what I want to do. I run a class operation to finish first, and that's what Donny does too."
In addition to the minimum of eight ARCA RE/MAX Series speedway events that Lia will be competing in, Matt Hagans will also be behind the wheel of a Hagans Racing Dodge to start off the season at the Daytona International Speedway in the Daytona ARCA 200 on February 11. A schedule of which races Lia will compete in will be released in the near future.
The Hagans Racing team led Joey Miller to the 2005 ARCA Rookie of the Year award. The organization is now exploring marketing options for the 2006 racing season.