Las Vegas: Donny Lia race report

LIA BRINGS HOME NO. 81 RANDY MOSS MOTORSPORTS SILVERADO TO A TOP-10 FINISH AT LAS VEGAS LAS VEGAS, NV (September 21, 2008) -- In only their second race together Donny Lia and the Randy Moss Motorsports team had an impressive showing this...

LIA BRINGS HOME NO. 81 RANDY MOSS MOTORSPORTS SILVERADO TO A TOP-10 FINISH AT LAS VEGAS

LAS VEGAS, NV (September 21, 2008) -- In only their second race together Donny Lia and the Randy Moss Motorsports team had an impressive showing this weekend in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Qwik Liner 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Lia, a 2008 Rookie of the Year contender, turned laps on the 1.5-mile oval for the first time on Saturday beginning with the practice sessions leading up to the race. Struggling a little in practice trying to get a feel for the hard tires, the team worked diligently before qualifying to try to make the proper adjustments.

The No. 81 RMM team was second on the grid to make their qualifying laps and the Long Island, New York native turned in a fast lap of 32.493 seconds (166.190 miles per hour) that put the No. 81 Silverado in the 20th starting spot.

"I was real happy with our qualifying lap," Lia said. "We know the track picked up quite a bit of speed there toward the end and that's when we got beat, toward the end of qualifying. Me and Eric Phillips (crew chief) got together there after practice and just had this conversation. Eric decided to make a bunch of changes that really at the time turned out to be really good changes. If we hadn't gone out second I think we would have qualified a lot better. That was the best it had been all day was in qualifying. I think it says a lot to us working together a little bit more."

The NCTS Rookie of the Year contender raced in the top-25 in the opening stages of the race as the No. 81 RMM team took every opportunity to make adjustments to the truck. When caution waved on lap 81, crew chief Eric Phillips called Lia in for what would be their final stop of the evening. Calling for two tires and a chassis adjustment, the Randy Moss Motorsports crew sent Lia back on track with decent track position. Lia was able to gain more positions and found himself sitting just outside the top 10 in the 11th position in the closing laps of the race.

"The guys did a really good job of making adjustments and getting the truck to where it would handle well," commented Lia. "It goes back to communication. The more me, Eric and the team worked together our communication just got better with every lap of the race. By the time we made our last stop, we had come up with a couple of ideas of what we were missing. A couple of things came to me as I was in the truck and then we talked about it and we made adjustments that last stop. He made a good call taking on two tires and gave us good track position.

"Then we were able to just hang in there and pick off a few trucks," the rookie continued. "It was a tenth-place finish. It could have really been like a seventh or eighth-place finish. We just got shuffled around there toward the end. I was sure happy with how it all worked out."

"We never gave up. The guys never gave up on me and I never gave up on them. They had great pit stops. Eric called a real good race and we were able to come out of there with a top 10 and a straight truck. The truck didn't really have a scratch on it. That's what I really wanted to do as a driver for them as a team. I know they've had a pretty rough month tearing up equipment. We really met our goals. I wanted to get a top-10 and have a truck without a scratch on it and we were able to accomplish that. To me it was a success."

Randy Moss Motorsports co-owner David Dollar was pleased with the results from this weekend's race as well. "We are very pleased with our finish tonight. Last week we had a top-10 truck and didn't get a good finish because of an accident. This week it took a while to get a handle on the hard tires but the team prevailed to come out of here with a top-10 finish. This was a great run for these guys. They have worked really hard all year and adjusted to all the different drivers we've had. I'm happy for them, they deserve a good run."

-credit: rmm

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Donny Lia