Donny Lia Switches Gears By Racing a Bobsled
NASCAR Modified Champion Takes Part in Bodine Bobsled Challenge
HUNTINGTON, NY (January 10, 2008) -- Donny Lia has raced just about everything at least once in his career. He's won championships as diverse as on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and in R/C Car racing. He has driven in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, NASCAR Busch East Series, USAR Pro Cup Series and even the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series as well.
But recently, Lia got into a machine that he had probably never ever dreamed of competing in. This time, the Long Island racer got into a bobsled at Lake Placid, New York as part of Third Annual Chevy Bodine Bobsled Challenge presented by Whelen Engineering. Lia ranked fifth out of 15 drivers in the three-day event.
More importantly, Lia was part of an event that helped to raise money and publicity for the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project and the United States Olympic Bobsled Team.
It was a very good experience for Lia.
"That was definitely a unique experience," said Lia. "It was a ton of fun. It was addictive. Every time you would go down the course, you couldn't wait to go back up and try it again. As different as it was, it also had some similarities to a racecar too. You use the same concepts -- you have to hit your lines and hit your marks just right. There's no engine, it's just goes on gravity, and you do nothing but pick up speed from the start of a run. It really felt like you had a 600 horsepower engine back there. It was fun to learn and I was lucky enough not to flip a sled over."
Lia was also glad to help out a good cause.
"It is great to see what Geoff Bodine and Bob Cuneo do with this project. They have given so much support to the U.S. Olympic team and now the team is on the top of their game. Years ago, that wasn't the case. It was a great experience to be a part of that and I really appreciate what they've done along with John Morgan, Phil Kurze, Whelen Engineering, Chevrolet and Lucas Oil."
Working the brakes on the sleds during each run were a team of solders from the New York Army National Guard. Lia was glad for their contributions as well.
"That really made it special, having the Army reservists being the brakemen and brakewomen at the ride. What they have done for our country is amazing and I really enjoyed having them involved."
Lia was invited to take part in the event after winning the 2007 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship. He joined NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified champion LW Miller and NASCAR Busch East Series champion Joey Logano at the event.
"I've really gotten to know those two guys pretty well," said Lia. "We spent a week in New York City together for NASCAR Champions week and they are really good guys. LW is as nice of a guy as you'll find and Joey has a great future ahead of him. It was fun to hang out with them again."