Donny Lia on Fire after NASCAR Mod Series Win Notches Victory at Home-Track on Long Island for Second-Straight Year HUNTINGTON, NY (8/9/04) -- Going to his home-track meant more for Donny Lia than just sleeping in his own bed and putting a few...
Donny Lia on Fire after NASCAR Mod Series Win
Notches Victory at Home-Track on Long Island for Second-Straight Year
HUNTINGTON, NY (8/9/04) -- Going to his home-track meant more for Donny Lia than just sleeping in his own bed and putting a few less miles on his truck. The #18 Lia Motorsports team rolled into Riverhead Raceway as the defending winners of the August NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series event and on Saturday night they defended their title.
That probably wasn't much of a surprise since Lia has been the hottest driver in the Modified Series over the most recent stretch of racing. Riverhead marked his fourth-straight, top-five start and finish.
"I hope that this streak keeps going," said the 25-year-old Lia. "If we had a tach on this team, we would be redlined right now. We're trying to stay out of trouble and take each race separately. I think that as long as we stay smart, we can keep this thing going."
Pulling off a victory in front of his home-crowd was especially good for Lia.
"This win means a lot to the whole team," said Lia. "It caps off what has been a good stretch of racing for us. My team has given me the best possible car every week and it shows. Any win is special, but to win at my home-track means a lot. I think that winning this year has been even sweeter because last season we came from out in left field to win this race. This year, we've been running good and have been real close to victory lane."
Lia put his #18 car into the lead on lap 49 and ran the rest of the 200-lap feature out front. He said that keeping his tires fresh was the key to winning.
"This racing is all about tire conservation," added Lia. "You need to not abuse your right rear tire and have a good car for the last 50 laps. Our game-plan was to get in front and ride around. I had a pretty good race with Chris Young early on to get into the lead because I figured that I could get ahead of him and let him hold everyone else up. We raced pretty hard."
The pass for the lead that Lia made was done using the outside groove. Last week at the Seekonk Speedway, Lia finished second after passing several cars high on the track. It seems that Lia has adapted very well to running quick on the tough way around a racetrack.
"I'd rather make a pass on the outside," said Lia. "I'll go for a spot wherever the car works best, but I like to drive around someone if I can. It's easy to give someone a shot in the corner and then dive under them, but it takes more work to set up an outside pass."
There are seven races to go in the NASCAR Modified Series season and Lia is sitting sixth in the Modified Series standings only 207 points out of the point lead. Battling for the championship might be a tall order, but seeing that just four races ago Lia wasn't even in the top 15 of the standings, anything is possible for his team - especially considering that they are very well prepared for the next portion of the schedule.
"Our program is good for the races coming up," said Lia. "I'm looking forward to Stafford and Thompson and I think that we can surprise a few people and win a race or two in Connecticut. Almost 50 percent of the races on the schedule are in Connecticut and that's what this tour is all about. It's a goal of mine to win at one of those tracks.
"Our cars, engines, bodies and shocks are all excellent right now," said Lia. "I had a new crew chief this season in Kevin Crowley and we are really on the same page now. He can make changes to the car without even talking to me and we are really working well together. The other guys on this team work just as hard. The biggest thing, though, is that everyone is having fun right now. That is the most important thing in this sport."
The NASCAR Modified Series will be at the Stafford Speedway (CT) on Wednesday, August 11th. Donny Lia and his Lia Motorsports Inc. team are competing for the 2004 Championship in the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series this season.