Something to Build on for Lia at Michigan Brooklyn, MI -- June 12, 2010. Donny Lia had a busy day in the VFW 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Saturday at the Michigan International Speedway. Through all the adversity, Donny pulled out...
Something to Build on for Lia at Michigan
Brooklyn, MI -- June 12, 2010. Donny Lia had a busy day in the VFW 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Saturday at the Michigan International Speedway. Through all the adversity, Donny pulled out his best finish of the season so far, finishing thirteenth behind Aric Almirola.
Sporting the Outdoor Channel Outfitters on the tonneau cover of his Ram truck, Lia qualified the SS Green Light Racing No. 07 Dodge thirteenth with a lap of 41.38 seconds at just under 174 mph on the two-mile speedway. Unapproved adjustments sent Donny from his thirteenth qualifying position to the tail of the 36-truck field to start the 100-lap race.
Donny did not let the disadvantage affect his performance as the New York native charged through the field in the early laps moving all the way to seventeenth when the first caution flew on lap four.
The second caution flew on lap eleven and the SS Green Light crew topped Donny's Dodge off with Sunoco gas and he restarted in the top-fifteen. By Lap twenty-eight Donny was up to thirteenth when his spotter suggested to "Get to the bottom in three and four." Donny immediately began running laps equal to the top-five trucks.
Rain began to fall on lap thirty-three and finally caused a forty-minute red flag at lap thirty-eight.
The Outdoor Outfitters Dodge sustained minor left front damage on the ensuing restart when Nelson Piquet missed a shift coming to the green, but that did not affect Donny on lap forty-three, his fastest lap of the race, when he passed four trucks and moved into eleventh on the wide two-mile superspeedway.
Donny worked hard as the truck began to get tight in the corners through the middle stages running close behind teammate Jason White in tenth place before pitting under green on lap seventy-eight. Crew Chief Jason Miller elected 2 sticker right side tires, one pound down in right rear to keep Lia in touch with the leaders. The truck became tight in the center of the corner as the run progressed and was unable to move back up in the running order.
The caution flew on lap eighty-four and Miller chose to call Donny to pit road again to change tires to try to improve the tightness. The SS Green Light team put four scuffed tires on for the run to the checkers, but the changes did not help enough and Lia fought the tight condition to the checkered flag in thirteenth position, his highest finish of the season.
"We had a world's better truck in the middle of the race than at the end. We had a good truck, just got off on our tire program. Guys did great in the pits all day, proud of them," said Lia after the race. "We needed some-thing to build on, I would call this a little something to build on."
"When we lost the second practice (to rain), we lost chance to scuff our tires in. Sticker tires just built up too much air pressure, we wanted to go with scuffs. Jason did a good job, we did what we needed to."
"We are still very optimistic," he added. "Charlotte and Michigan showed we have potential."
Donny's first lead-lap finish of the season moved him up to 24th in the drivers standings despite only having started six of the nine races so far this year.