Donny Lia Wants to "Get it Right the First Time" in Nashville Long Island Native Using Billy Joel Song for Inspiration in ARCA RE/MAX Series Debut CONCORD, NC (April 7, 2006) -- The style of music rock legend Billy Joel is famous for may not...
Donny Lia Wants to "Get it Right the First Time" in Nashville
Long Island Native Using Billy Joel Song for Inspiration in ARCA RE/MAX Series Debut
CONCORD, NC (April 7, 2006) -- The style of music rock legend Billy Joel is famous for may not quite fit in the home of country music, Nashville, TN, but it's Joel's words that are the motivation for young Donny Lia as he enters the "Music City" for his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut in the April 15th PFG Lester 150 at Nashville Superspeedway.
Joel's memorable 1977 hit contains the lyrics "I've gotta get it right the first time / That's the main thing / I can't afford to let it pass / You get it right the next time, that's not the same thing / Gonna have to make the first time last."
That philosophy is what fellow Long Islander Donny Lia is taking into Nashville. There's no better time than Lia's first ARCA race to make a name for himself and bring the Eagle Creek Aviation #9 for Hagans Racing to Victory Lane in the Music City.
"I'm really excited to get to Nashville and to show what I can do behind the wheel of these ARCA cars," said Lia. "The cars are a lot different than the Mods that I'm used to driving, but in the test session that we had at Nashville last week, I got really comfortable with the car and the track. I'm confident that we'll be able to leave Nashville with a very strong finish."
It's true that the heavy ARCA stock cars are a vast departure from the open-wheeled NASCAR Modifieds that Lia made a name for himself in, but the Jericho, NY-native has already shown that he's able to adapt quickly. Lia tested the Hagans Racing machine last week at Nashville to get a solid baseline for when he and the team return for the PFG Lester 150 race weekend.
He didn't just go out on the track to log practice laps. He went out and set some blistering times and left the two-day Nashville test with the 11th best overall time of the more than 50 cars that clocked around the 1.33-mile track.
"When we went out the first time, I didn't know what to really expect, but the guys put together a really good car for me. I have a good feeling for when we go back out there in practice for the race. When we get some more laps I think we'll be even better, but I know we have something good to start from.
"We were 11th quick overall, but I think that was a little deceiving because we were one of, if not the fastest car on the track both days of the test. I know we have a good car for qualifying and the race. We did some qualifying runs that would've put us in the top-five here last year and there's still more we can gain on, too."
Lia already has the confidence and comfort in the driver's seat of a veteran. He's not worried about Nashville being his first-ever ARCA race. He's too busy focused on keeping the winning tradition alive for Hagans Racing.
"I know this race team has a history of winning and I'm excited to help continue that trend this season. I worked very closely with my Crew Chief, Bobby Blount, during the test session and we have a great relationship. I'm really proud of Bobby and the guys on the team. They have put together a great car for me and they are confident in me as a driver and that means a lot."
The confidence goes both ways as well. Under the guidance and leadership of veteran Crew Chief Bobby Blount and team owner Matt Hagans, Lia is comfortable with his role as the next star to come from Long Island and make it count the first time, just the way Billy Joel would want it in his song.
"This is a great opportunity for me to be a part of Hagans Racing this season and I think we can get a good finish in Nashville to get things going the right way for the season."