DONNY LIA RETURNS TO CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES AND MODIFIED TOUR Double-Duty Weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Donny Lia CONCORD, NC (September 10, 2008) -- The big September NASCAR weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway will mark a...
DONNY LIA RETURNS TO CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES AND MODIFIED TOUR
Double-Duty Weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Donny Lia
CONCORD, NC (September 10, 2008) -- The big September NASCAR weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway will mark a homecoming in many ways for Donny Lia. After a week off from racing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Lia will make his return to the series at a track he is very familiar with. He will also be pulling double-duty in Loudon, returning to the seat of a NASCAR Whelen Modified.
Lia, who has run much of the season with TRG Motorsports, parted ways with the team last week. After sitting on the sidelines when the Trucks raced at Gateway, Lia has joined forces with Moss Motorsports and the #81 Chevrolet Silverado for the Loudon, NH race.
"I'm going to be driving the David Dollar and Randy Moss owned #81 Truck," said an excited Lia. "It's a really great opportunity for me. I want to thank David Dollar and Randy Moss for the opportunity to drive their truck. They have real good equipment, and it's a team that has been around for a long time. I am probably more excited to go up there and work with their guys than anything. They have a few guys on that team that have a ton of experience in the Truck Series. They've been runner-up in the points deal with Dennis Setzer a few times. I am lucky to drive their truck and am very thankful for the opportunity. More than anything, it's going to feel good to go to the race track with racers."
Lia isn't the type of person that likes to sit idle, and his off-week away from the track showed him just how bad he wanted to get back behind the wheel.
"It was weird sitting and watching it on television last week. However, sometimes you have to do what you have to do and do something that you feel deep down is the right thing. It was time to move on and I did. Usually when you do the right thing it works out in the end. Hopefully this will be something that can develop into a long relationship with myself and Moss Motorsports."
The New Hampshire race takes on even more meaning for Lia and his new teammates, as team co-owner and NFL wide-receiver Randy Moss plays for the New England Patriots. This will be the first time the #81 Moss Motorsports entry will take to the track on home turf.
"It's going to be awesome driving for one of the great wide-receivers of all time. Since he plays for the Patriots and we are racing in New England, there will be a ton of attention and pressure for us to do well up there. I'm really looking forward to it and definitely looking forward to working with the crew and getting his truck another good finish."
Last September Donny Lia made his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, during which time he was atop the standings in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Lia placed 19th in his Truck debut. A lot has changed since that day. Lia went on that year to win the coveted NASCAR Mod Tour Championship and the New Hampshire Motor Speedway track title. Already in 2008, Lia has made a name for himself in the Craftsman Truck ranks with three top-ten finishes, including a dramatic win at Mansfield Motorsports Park (OH).
"Just going back to a track that I have had success at in the past gets me excited and gives me more confidence. We have a track-championship there with the Modified. We've had a win this year in the Craftsman Truck Series too. Driving the Modified at Loudon will be like riding a bike; I can't wait to get back in it. Hopping back and forth between the Truck and Modified will be a lot of fun because they are such different animals.
"It's going to be awesome driving for John Holland and the H & H Team in the Mod race. I'll be running the car for Troyer Racecars. It's their new revision of their asphalt Modified that they are looking to start producing. It's a cool deal. The car looks great and has good horsepower from Brunneau. Chuck Hossfeld ran it up in Oswego just to work the bugs out of it. There were a few bugs, so I am very happy they did that."
Lia admitted that because of experience, he will feel a lot less pressure during this year's double-duty effort.
"It's definitely going to be different than last year," said Lia. "Last year when we did the double-duty, we were leading the Mod points and it was my Truck Series debut. I didn't want the Truck deal to distract my focus from the Modified and our chase for that title. Now that I am more experienced in the Trucks, it will be a lot different of a weekend and a whole lot of fun.
"There won't be as much pressure this weekend, and I know I will enjoy it more. The bottom line with both is to go out there and try to win both races. I enter this deal with nothing but incentive to win; I have nothing to lose. The Raybestos Rookie deal is up in the air in the Truck Series, but in order to win that I basically have to win a race. We go in to both races trying to win with nothing to lose and everything to gain, so that should be a lot of fun."
Lia's big New Hampshire weekend kicks off with NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour practice and qualifying on Thursday, September 11th. He will strap in for both feature events on Saturday, September 13th. Both races will air on SPEED television, with the Modified race being tape-delayed (check local listings for air times).