Donny Lia Rides the Mystic Missile to Victory Lane at Thompson Third Win in Five Tour Starts Puts Lia Into Point Lead HUNTINGTON, NY (JUNE 24, 2007) -- More often the not this season on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, when the race has ended,...
Donny Lia Rides the Mystic Missile to Victory Lane at Thompson
Third Win in Five Tour Starts Puts Lia Into Point Lead
HUNTINGTON, NY (JUNE 24, 2007) -- More often the not this season on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, when the race has ended, Donny Lia and Bob Garbarino's Mystic Missile team have had to spend time posing for photos with trophies before loading up their #4 racecar.
On Thursday night, that trend continued at Thompson International Speedway (CT). For the third time in five Tour races this season, Lia won the race.
Lia's association with the Mystic Missile team is also only five races old, so the victory is just more proof that the driver and team combination seems to be made for each other.
It was also Lia's first career Modified Tour victory at Thompson. He won a RoC Modified feature at the track in 2004, but always had bad luck keep him from winning there when the Tour would come to town. Now Lia has won races at all three of the tracks in Connecticut where he has entered a Tour race.
"I wanted to win a race in Connecticut and that was it, not we've won a few," said Lia. "Waterford, Stafford and now Thompson.
"I'm pretty much numb at this point. When we won Stafford, it was incredible. Then we won Stafford again. Then we came here and won. All of that hasn't really sunk in. I'm not sure if it will sink in."
The magical start to the season with the Mystic Missile team has been something that Lia has really appreciated. The combination of a young and enthusiastic driver with a highly experience team is working great.
"When I went racing with my own team, if you added up all of the years of experience with everyone on the team, you might have come up with, I don't know...100 something years total experience," said Lia. "Well, this team has probably at least 500 years of experience between them.
"That experience helps with so many little things. Things that you would never think of make this car go so well and that is from years and years of racing and learning lessons. They'll learn something and not only will they not make that same mistake again, they'll incorporate what they learned into the cars to make them better. My cars never felt like this. They just didn't."
Lia is the latest driver in a long line of racers who have wheeled the #4 to wins throughout the Eastern United States. While that doesn't register when he is driving the car, it is a fact that he can appreciate out of the cockpit.
"I don't think about that too much behind the wheel," said Lia. "But when I'm out of the car and do think about it, that is pretty impressive. There is a lot of history with this car and a lot of great drivers have driven it."
And while Garbarino has seen just about everything in racing through his tenure as a team owner, he is especially proud of what his team is accomplishing this season.
"Absolutely," said Garbarino. "I didn't know any of these guys before we started and they all worked very hard to get three out of five [victories]."
Racing is always enjoyable for the owner of the Mystic Missile, but this season has been just a little bit more so.
"It's always been fun, but it is even more fun when you win," said Garbarino with a smile.
And Lia can think of something that might make racing even more fun for the team.
"There's just one thing that this team is missing...they've never won a championship...yet," said Lia with an even bigger smile.
With his latest victory, Lia moves from fourth in the standings to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour point lead, so that goal is definitely attainable this season.
Lia and the Mystic Missile team will return to action on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour on June 30th at New Hampshire International Speedway