Donny Lia Adapts Quickly as Mystic Missile Pilot New Combination Leads 74 Laps Before Broken Bracket at Thompson HUNTINGTON, NY (April 23, 2007) -- In Donny Lia's first outing as the driver of Bob Garbarino's Mystic Missile Modified, there was a...
Donny Lia Adapts Quickly as Mystic Missile Pilot
New Combination Leads 74 Laps Before Broken Bracket at Thompson
HUNTINGTON, NY (April 23, 2007) -- In Donny Lia's first outing as the driver of Bob Garbarino's Mystic Missile Modified, there was a slight learning curve.
What was the length of that learning curve? Exactly 24 laps around Thompson International Speedway. That is how long that it took Lia to get to the front of the pack in the season-opening NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour event. He would go on to lead 73 more laps.
Unfortunately a broken part led to the team being left with a 20th-place finish after having to go behind the wall for several laps to make needed repairs.
"We hit it right today," said Lia. "Something on the car broke and it was something that you really can't control. Today, we had a great car. There's a great crew here and with all of this experience that Bob has from all of his years of racing that makes for a fast racecar.
"A bracket broke and we had to go behind the wall to weld it up. It was a freak thing. I've never seen it, and none of these guys have seen one break except for during a wreck. We didn't wreck; it just broke. It's a shame because I really thought that I'd have something for them at the end."
Lia did not pit for tires at all during the race, but he stands by that strategy. Even running in second place on old tires late in the race, he was sticking right with eventual race winner James Civali, waiting for the right time to make a move for the top spot again.
"I made some adjustments to my line and we would have been good," said Lia. "When I shifted gears on the restart, it broke. I was just along for the ride at that point.
"For us, our strategy was the right one. I wasn't going to get any faster if we had come in. I know that some of the guys did. John [Blewett] changed tires and he was good. Before he started leaking, he fast. Whoever had the best car would have probably been between myself, Civali and him. But we'll never know. That's how it goes sometimes.
"This place has always had a hex on me. Very rarely have I finished on all four wheels here. We're going to have to change that this year."
Lia and the #4 team will now head to Stafford Motor Speedway for this coming weekend's Spring Sizzler.
"Next week, we should be just as strong. We'll pick up where we left off, so hopefully we won't have the same problem. I like that racetrack [Stafford] and we should have a good race there."
The Spring Sizzler is scheduled for this coming weekend. Qualifying will take place on Saturday, April 28th and the feature race will take place on Sunday, April 29th.