Lia To Spend Free Time In Wisk-Clorox SK Mod In 2005
Young Driver Also Spent Time Networking in North Carolina
HUNTINGTON, NY (January 11, 2005) -- In 2004, Donny Lia's approach to racing was simple. If there was an event that his Lia Motorsports, Inc. team could get to and be competitive at, they would show up and race. His main focus was on the NASCAR Modified Series schedule, but Lia also added a few additional races to his schedule during the year, including the Race of Champions feature at Thompson Speedway (CT), North-South Shootout at Concord Motorsport Park (NC) and Turkey Derby at Wall Township Speedway (NJ).
The extra effort was worth it. Lia won both the RoC race at Thompson and the North-South Shootout. He finished second in the Turkey Derby.
So when the opportunity to drive for another proven winner during his free time away from his own full-time ride in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour in 2005 came about, Lia jumped at the chance. This coming season, the young Long Island driver will take over the reins of the #47 Wisk-Clorox SK Modified owned by RJR Enterprises with Mike Smeriglio. Lia will drive the car for the entire season at the Stafford Motor Speedway (CT).
"I've always wanted to drive an SK Modified," said Lia. "These guys have great equipment and they want to go out to win every race. I had already known that they had a great car. So when they called me, it was a no brainer. I looked at everything and made sure that I could be there every Friday night to go for the track championship and the NASCAR Regional Short Track championship. We all have the same goal and we should be successful right out of the box. I know that every week that I go to the track, this car will be ready to win."
The reasons why Lia is going to race weekly at Stafford are two-fold. First off, he is a racer and wants to win as much as possible. Secondly, he knows that the experience can help him improve his skills when competing for the championship on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
"This is a great opportunity for me to get some seat time," said Lia. "The SKs have good hard racing every week. It gets a little wild only having 40 laps with the fast cars starting in the back, but that will make it more exciting. This will make me a better driver in traffic and I'm looking forward to some good sprint races."
The #47 team already knows how to win. Chuck Hossfeld started out the season in the car last year and collected a string of top five finishes before handing over the seat to Steve Chowansky. After getting acclimated to the ride, Chowansky won two races late in the season.
Without a race on his schedule until next month's Speedweeks in Florida, Lia recently took the opportunity to head down to Charlotte, North Carolina for a few days. He met with officials from a few different teams and made a personal appearance at "Race Night" with the Charlotte Checkers of the ECHL. Since he primarily races in the Northeast, Lia didn't expect many fans to even know who he was. However, he was surprised when many were familiar with him.
"I figured that I would go down there, sign a few autographs and hang out at a hockey game," said Lia. "But when I took out my autograph cards, everyone recognized that I drove a NASCAR Modified. A bunch of people even recognized my name, maybe from the North-South Shootout. I was surprised at how many Modified fans that were there."
In 2005, Lia and the LMI team will return to action on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.