The Chrome Horn News


Mystic Missile Team is Now Batting .500 in 2007

    Donny Lia had to wait for years to win a NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Stafford Motor Speedway (CT). He mastered the track by winning there in an SK Modified, but when it came to “Tour racing,” something would always keep him from victory lane – bad luck, being in the wrong place at the wrong time or even losing a wheel within sight of the finish line.
    The wait for victory ended last month in the Spring Sizzler, the track’s first and biggest event of the season. Lia won that race to score his first victory for the #4 Mystic Missile team owned by Bob Garbarino. He enjoyed that winning feeling so much, that he returned to Stafford on Friday night to win again. This time, it was the Connecticut Classic trophy that Lia was able to capture.
    “Sometimes, when it’s your time, it’s your time,” said Lia. “I don’t know if I’ve paid my dues here or what, but the track is giving back or something. Hopefully it continues. But hey, everything works in a cycle – especially luck. We were always close, but something would always happen and it’d all be out the window.”
    In fact, it almost all went out the window late in the race this time at Stafford as well. Lia had to dodge the spinning car of Eric Beers late in the race, and narrowly avoided getting caught in another bad luck incident at Stafford .
    “I saw Eric going around and I woah’ed up, cut it to the bottom and I must’ve missed him by an inch,” said Lia. “I thought he was going to hit me in the right rear. That’s just luck. If I had entered the corner just a little bit higher, I probably wouldn’t have gotten underneath him. You just have to be in the right place at the right time, especially here; it’s so hard to pass here and it’s a flat racetrack. Being in the right lane in the right time pays dividends. You can have the fastest car, but if you don’t catch a couple breaks, it doesn’t matter.”
    In previous years, Lia has been an owner/driver on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. He has won five Tour races and has several additional open show wins in that role. This year though, he has switched gears and is strictly a driver for the Garbarino team. That new situation has really worked to his advantage with Lia already batting .500, just four races into the 2007 Tour season.
    “I’ve got to thank Bob and Joan Garbarino,” said Lia. “My whole crew is making it a lot of fun to come to the track this year. It’s less stressful for me just being a driver. Maybe that’s making a difference. Every piece of the equation is helping right now.
    “I have a clearer head when I’m in the car this year. I just have less on my shoulders. Before I was running a race team; this isn’t Nextel cup, but it’s still a big responsibility. You’ve got a lot of guys and a lot of equipment and it’s expensive. It’s just a lot on your mind. He’s given me the opportunity to just focus on being a driver. I can’t thank him enough for that. I think it’s working out well for both of us. I can tell the guy what the car needs. I always could, but now I have a better idea of it all. My head is just in the right place when I get in the car. Plus, it’s more fun.”
    Winning is fun too and Lia hopes to do even more of that as the Tour season continues.
    “We’ve had a good car. As long as the luck stays on our side, we’ll be in good shape. I know they’re going to give me a good car every week, so it’s just a matter of me not doing anything stupid out there and not making any mistakes. It feels great. When you win, you never know when you’re going to win again, so we won recently and we’ve won again and I have to thank the guys for that.”
    Lia and the Mystic Missile team will return to action on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour on June 18th at Thompson International Speedway (CT).
    For more information on Donny Lia, please contact Mike Twist at 207-590-1786 and be sure to visit


Source: Mike Twist/Lia Motorsports PR
Posted:  May 29, 2007

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