The Chrome Horn News



    Donny Lia’s storybook season continued Saturday night, with the latest chapter an improbable victory at Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway. The NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour points leader inherited the lead when the top two cars were involved in a wreck in the closing laps and led the final six laps of the Miller Lite 140 en route to his fifth victory in eight races.
    Lia was running third when Mike Stefanik and Ted Christopher were involved in an accident battling for the lead in the midst of lapped traffic.
    “We did not have a car to win,” Lia said. “I’m not ashamed to admit it. But you just have to hang in there and get what you can. Tonight, it worked out for us. Bottom line is we’re just doing what we have to do and riding that wave.”
    Lia leads second-place Matt Hirschman by 92 points.
    To cap his latest victory, Lia had to hold off Riverhead regular Bill Park in a green-white-checkered finish. Ronnie Silk finished third, followed by Justin Bonsignore and James Civali.
    “I think I might have had something for Donny at the end,” Park said. “If I could have got him I would have, but I wasn’t going to bump him to do it.”
    Park, the Riverhead's NASCAR Whelen All-American Series modified division point leader, said two weeks ago when Lia visited the track for the 77-lap "Tribute To A Legends" race with weekly points at stake, Lia raced him cleanly in an extended battle for position. Saturday, when it was Lia’s championship on the line, Park returned the favor.
    “I owed him the same courtesy,” Park said.
    “He was going for a championship here,” Lia said. “I probably could have driven a little harder and forced the issue. But I didn’t because I wouldn’t want to be going for the championship and somebody take me out.”
    Danny Sammons, Matt Hirschman, Howie Brodie, Jamie Tomaino and Ryan Preece rounded out the top 10. Stefanik ended up 11th following his late-race spin.
    Stefanik led 116 laps after starting on the pole following a redraw of the top seven spots.
    Christopher used lapped traffic to get by him on lap 115, and Stefanik took the lead back again on lap 137 before the two clashed two laps later.
    That handed the lead – and eventually the win – to Lia.
    “I was doing everything in my power just to stay close to them,” Lia said, “and capitalize if anything happened.”

Unofficial Results Miller Lite 140
Saturday At Riverhead Raceway 08/04/07
Riverhead, N.Y.
Lap length: .25 miles
(Starting position in parentheses)

 1.   (3)  Donny Lia, Jericho N.Y., Dodge, 144
 2.   (7)  Bill Park, Manorville N.Y., Chevrolet, 144
 3.  (15) Ronnie Silk, Norwalk Conn., Chevrolet, 144
 4.  (11) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville N.Y., Chevrolet, 144
 5.   (9)  James Civali, Meriden Conn., Chevrolet, 144
 6.  (21) Danny Sammons, Hamilton N.J., Chevrolet, 144
 7.  (24) Matt Hirschman, Northampton Penn., Dodge, 144
 8.   (5)  Howie Brode, East Islip N.Y., Chevrolet, 144
 9.  (26) Jamie Tomaino, Howell N.J., Chevrolet, 144
10. (19) Ryan Preece, Kensington Conn., Chevrolet, 144
11.  (1)  Michael Stefanik, Coventry R.I., Pontiac, 144
12.  (8)  Jimmy Blewett, Calverton N.Y., Chevrolet, 143
13. (20) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley Penn., Chevrolet, 143
14. (17) Ed Flemke, Jr, Southington Conn., Chevrolet, 143
15.  (4)  Ted Christopher, Plainville Conn., Chevrolet, 143
16. (25) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield Conn., Ford, 140
17. (23) Kevin Goodale, Riverhead N.Y., Chevrolet, 140
18. (13) J.R. Bertuccio, Jr, Centereach N.Y., Chevrolet, 138, Nerf bar
19. (14) Eric Beers, Northampton Penn., Chevrolet, 138
20. (10) Dan Jivanelli, Hampton Bays N.Y., Chevrolet, 133, Bumper
21.  (6)  Jerry Marquis, Broad Brook Conn., Dodge, 103, Accident
22. (22) Richard Savary, Canton Mass., Chevrolet, 94, Accident
23. (12) Chuck Steuer, Bohemia N.Y., Chevrolet, 89, Bumper
24. (28) Glenn Tyler, Hampton Bays N.Y., Chevrolet, 84, Accident
25.  (2)  Anthony Ferrante, Jr, New Hyde Park N.Y., Chevrolet, 83, Accident
26. (16) Wayne Anderson, Yaphank N.Y., Chevrolet, 82, Accident
27. (18) Dick Houlihan, Bridgewater Mass., Chevrolet, 69, Accident
28. (27) Wade Cole, Riverton Conn., Chevrolet, 58, Accident
Race statistics
Caution Flags: 7 for 66 laps.
Lap Leaders: Stefanik 1-114, Christopher 115-136, Stefanik 137-138, Lia 139-144.
Total Laps Led: Stefanik 116, Christopher 22, Lia 6. 3 changes involving 3 drivers.
Next Race: Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway, Friday, Aug. 10


Source:  Jason Christley/NASCAR WMT PR
Posted:  August 4, 2007

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