Mystic Missile Team is Best of Both Worlds for Donny Lia Long Islander Brings Along Familiar Faces to a Legendary Team HUNTINGTON, NY (April 10, 2007) - Usually when a racecar driver joins up with a new team, it's like going to the first day of...
Mystic Missile Team is Best of Both Worlds for Donny Lia
Long Islander Brings Along Familiar Faces to a Legendary Team
HUNTINGTON, NY (April 10, 2007) - Usually when a racecar driver joins up with a new team, it's like going to the first day of school. Nobody really knows anyone and nobody knows what to expect. In a sport where race victories are decided by thousandths of a second, any type of learning curve can destroy a team's outlook for the new season.
That should not be a problem, though, when Donny Lia runs his first race for the legendary Mystic Missile team owned by Bob Garbarino this weekend at Thompson International Speedway (CT).
Since 1961, the Mystic Missile [which gets its name from the town of Mystic, Connecticut, where the team is based] has been driven to success by drivers like Bugsy Stevens, the late Eddie Flemke Sr., Satch Worley, Tim Connolly, Geoff Bodine, Chuck Hossfeld, and most recently, Jerry Marquis.
Now Garbarino has tapped Lia to drive the yellow #4 Troyer-chassis ride in 2007, and in doing so, the team has grown by more than just one person. Several members of the Lia Motorsports, Inc. crew, who led Lia to 11 Modified victories in the last four seasons, are moving over to the team along with their driver.
"This is a great situation and I'm very excited about it," said Lia. "I've got a lot of my old crew from LMI. They have become friends of mine, more than just crewmembers, so having them around is good for the whole deal. They will bring some youth and exuberance to the experience that Bob Garbarino and his guys have. Bob's team is so strong; to have access to their knowledge is a big plus. To be able to race together and use that experience is awesome."
Lia got a sneak peak at what that experience can do last month in a test session at Thompson. That is when he took his first laps in the Mystic Missile and realized that life as a racecar driver is much less hectic than that of an owner/driver.
"I noticed it right off the bat," said Lia. "I was in a better state of mind, and I have been in a better state of mind since we started talking about doing this. It's all about getting more focused on driving. It's hard to win a championship in this series, and it is even harder when you have to worry about more than just driving the racecar. Driving is enough of a battle and now I can focus completely on that."
Lia expects that it will take little or no time for the new combination of owner, driver and crew to perform to the best of their abilities together.
"I think we'll click right away. We worked well together in practice, so I think that we'll be strong right away. You never really know until you get under race conditions, so there's a chance that there will be some adjusting; but even if there is, it won't take long.
"Everything is like what I'm used to, but better. It's the same style of car, and my seat sits in there exactly the same. I'm really comfortable with everything. We're not giving up anything. I'm going out just as strong as we ever were, but better with the experience and knowledge of Bob Garborino, Greg Schroeder and Bob Mueller."
The Icebreaker at Thompson International Speedway is scheduled for this Friday through Sunday, April 13th-15th. Qualifying will take place on Saturday afternoon and pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour feature are set for approximately 2:45 pm on Sunday.