DONNY LIA WINS
THE NEW ENGLAND 100
AT NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Lia survived a last lap melee among the leaders to win the New England 100.
The racing was really intense for the last ten laps as the number of lead
changes could not be tracked. He was able take the checkers as utter mayhem
developed beside and behind him when Ted Christopher and Todd Szegedy both
became acquainted with the front stretch wall as four veteran drivers went
for the win in a four-lap shoot out. Ronnie Silk, who was running high in
turn four, said he made contact with the eventual winnerís rear bumper that
caused Szegedy and Lia to make contact and collected Christopher.
In his on-track interview after the event ended, Lia stated, "I
made my move early. I would rather they get me back at the start-finish
line. I made the move and Todd (Szegedy) came all the way from the bottom. I
saw him coming so I rolled out early to cross them both up and the next
thing I know I had an opportunity to go three-wide down the middle. Whoever
it was on the bottom of the track decided to try to move me. I had no place
to go with somebody in front of me. I hated that they wrecked coming to the
line like that. You have three race cars going for the win and only so much
room to fit them all."
The final four laps alone were worth the price of admission. The
top three finishers were very vocal about Ted Christopherís driving style
and the carnage that it causes. They were pretty clear about the fact that
they are getting tired of the 'win at any cost' racing attitudes. Lia said
he thinks racing doesnít have to be as aggressive as itís been lately. He
also expressed thanks to the Garbarinoís and the crew for giving him an
awesome car to drive.
The field was taken to the green by Doug Coby as the #3 of Ryan
Preece sat on pit road. Coby was passed by the #36 of Ted Christopher and #2
of Todd Szegedy. Caution came early on lap two for Christopher blowing smoke
from under the hood and spinning out. The #90 Renee Dupuis, #09 Bobby
Grigas, #33 Wade Cole and #98 Gary McDonald were all involved in turn 4. Ted
Christopher went down a lap as the #36 team fixed the loose line.
Todd Szegedy, Doug Coby, Ryan Newman, Rowan Pennink, Lia, Flemke,
and Goodale are the top 7 on the lap 7 restart. Lia is on the move and on
lap 8 was up to fourth then dropped back to ninth. Ryan Newman showed he
could handle a tour mod as he was all over Coby for second. Newman took the
lead on lap 13 as he powered underneath both Coby and Szegedy.
Lap 15 - Szegedy regains the lead in turn four. Newman second,
Pennink, Coby, Stefanik, Flemke and Silk. Flemke is falling back while Lia
is back in the top seven by lap 20. Lap 21 finds #17 Glen Reen on pit road
under green. Szegedy regains lead from Newman on lap 23, while Mike Stefanik
in the #16 is on pit road under green. Kasey Kahne is up to sixth by lap 30.
Ronnie Silk in the #79 has settled in to fifth, while Silk is
challenging Lia for the fourth spot. Running order lap 40: Szegedy, Newman,
Pennink, Lia, Silk, Kahne, Coby, Flemke, Blewett, Goodale. Stefanik is being
posted for the window net down on lap 44. Apparently the net slid back, not
Szegedy leads at the halfway point and crosses the stripe
side-by-side with Newman. However, Newman retakes the lead on lap 51
followed by Szegedy, Pennink, Lia, Silk, Kahne and Flemke. Szegedy retakes
lead as the field heads into turn 3 on lap 54. Pennink and Lia are engaged
in a nose-to-tail battle.
Caution lap 64 for Ryan Newman in the turn 2 wall. Newman appears
to be OK. Andy Seuss did not pit, along with Kevin Goodale, Flemke Pitkat,
Savary, Szegedy, Lia, Rudolph, Goodale, and Kahne. Seuss leads under
The restart was set for lap 71, but was held one more lap to
correct the lineup for the restart. Sesely was turned when Erick Rudolph
didnít go. Caution #3 on the lap 72 restart. Leaders: Seuss, Eric Goodale,
Flemke, Pitkat, Savary, Szegedy, Lia, Kevin Goodale, Pennink, and Silk.
After clearing the track the pits opened. Christopher, pitting after getting
the free pass to get back on lead the lap.
Eric Goodale takes the lead as caution flies for Seuss who tried to
cross under Goodale to retake lead and turned it into a melee on lap 80.
Seuss and Goodale both continued, but Jimmy Blewett and Tim Arre couldnít
scatter to avoid the wreck. Red flag at 2:10 p.m. for the incident after the
leaders got together. Other drivers involved were Glen Tyler and Eric Beers.
Flemke takes the lead as a result of the incident. The red flag lasted seven
Running order Flemke, Szegedy, Lia, Pennink, Silk, Coby, Grigas,
Ruggiero, Tyler, Christopher, Summers, Savary, Pitkat, Kevin Goodale. Flags
go from red to yellow and pit road is open. Restart lap 87 - Lia leads then
Silk. Todd Szegedy passes for the lead, while Christopher leads on lap 92.
Caution for the #14 of Reggie Ruggiero and the field goes back to
the last completed lap putting Silk in front for the restart. It's Lia,
Christopher, Szegedy, Pennink, Flemke and Coby. Single file restart. Ted
Christopher takes the lead by dive bombing the inside on the restart and
leads Lia and Szegedy. The leaders get together and Lia gets through for the
win while Christopher and Szegedy hit the front stretch wall hard. They both
manage to get across the finish line with Christopher ending up fifth and
Finishing order: 1) Donny Lia, 2) Eddie Flemke Jr., 3) Ronnie Silk,
4) Rowan Pennink, 5) Ted Christopher, 6) Doug Coby, 7) Richard Savary, 8)
Todd Szegedy, 9) Woody Pitkat, 10) Glen Tyler, 11) Bobby Grigas, 12) Robbie
Summers, 13) Ken Heagy, 14) Reggie Ruggiero, 15) Wade Cole, 16) Eric Beers,
17) Eric Goodale, 18) Kevin Goodale, 19) Glen Reen, 20) Tom Abele, 21) Andy
Seuss, 22) Johnny Bush, 23) Mike Stefanik, 24) Ryan Preece, 25) Chris
Pasteryak, 26) Jamie Tomaino, 27) Jake Marosz, 28) Jimmy Blewett, 29) Tim
Arre, 30) Anthony Sesely, 31) Kasey Kahne, 32) Erick Rudolph, 33) Rob
Fuller, 34) Ryan Newman, 35) Jonathon McKennedy, 36) Renee Dupuis, 37) Tommy
Farrell, 38) Gary McDonald.
Doug Coby charged to the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Coors Light
Pole Award for the New England 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Coby, of
Milford, Connecticut, drove the #19 Major Motion Transport/Family Auto
Center Chevrolet to a front row starting position with a time of 30.003 and
speed of 126.497 mph. He was .008 of a second faster than Todd Szegedy in
the #2 UNOH/Wisk Snuggle Ford. Szegedy, a former WMT champion from
Ridgefield, Connecticut, had a speed of 126.939 mph. Coby's last pole came
at Wall Stadium Speedway on June 26, 2004.
The current Whelen Modified Tour Champion, Ted Christopher, was
third quickest in the #36 Al-Lee Installations Chevrolet with a speed of
126.854 mph. Christopher had won all three previous Coors Light Poles this
season. Donny Lia of Jericho, NY, was fourth quickest with a speed of
126.795 mph in the #4 JoJo Energy Drink entry. Lia is also a former WMT
champion with car owner Bob Garbarino. Rowan Pennink put the #93 Monk
Mechanics Hand Cleaner Chevrolet in the fifth starting spot with a speed of
126.686 mph. Pennink hails from Huntingdon Valley, PA. Sprint Cup driver,
Ryan Newman, was sixth fastest with a speed of 126.286 mph. Newman is
driving the #7 Aggressive Hydraulics Chevrolet. Ryan Preece of Berlin, CT,
in the #3 Mizzy Construction/Reynolds Auto Wrecking entry was seventh with a
speed of 125.986 mph. Eddie Flemke Jr. was 8th quickest in the #10 Ron
Bouchards Autos/Kleer Trimboards Chevrolet. The Southington, CT, driver had
a speed of 125.907 mph.
Kevin Goodale of Riverhead, NY, was ninth quickest in the Riverhead
Building Supply Chevrolet with a speed of 125.852 mph. Bobby Grigas III
qualified tenth in the # 09 Triple G Scaffolds.
The rest of the starting field: 11) #90 Renee Dupuis 125.736; 12)
#71 Rob Fuller 125.707; 13) #16 Mike Stefanik 125.736; 14) #79 Ron Silk
125.657; 15) #46 Eric Beers 125.500 mph; 16) #14 Reggie Ruggiero 125.368;
17) #96 Kasey Kahne 125.351; 18) #12 Jimmy Blewett 125.182; 19) #28 Woody
Pitkat 124.989; 20) #11 Anthony Sesely 124.887; 21) #17 Glen Reen 124.875;
22) #1 Rob Summers 124.801; 23) #58 Eric Goodale 124.426; 24) #52 Chris
Pasteryak 124.406; 25) #59 Erick Rudolph 124.389; 26) #21 Richard Savary
124.276; 27) # 99 Jamie Tomaino 123.835; 28) #00 Jonathon McKennedy 123.787;
29) #8 Glen Tyler; 30) #70 Andy Seuss 123.438; 31) #0 Tim Arre 123.230; 32)
#32 Tom Abele Jr. 122.900; 33) #68 Johnny Bush 122.789; 34) 18 Ken Heagy
120.505; 35) #33 Wade Cole 120.661; 36) #08 Tommy Farrell III 122.611*; 37)
#9 Jake Marosz 121.644; 38) #26 Gary McDonald 120.776*. (* Provisional
Starters. Did Not Qualify: Fred Vordermeier.)
Ron Silk & Eddie Flemke Jr. Post-Race Comments
Ron Silk: I am really glad the way the day turned out, we were
awful in practice. We went back to what we were running on Thursday. The
guys did a really good job the while weekend. We were in contention for the
win here at Loudon, but we'll take third I guess."
Can you tell us about last four laps? Silk replied: "There were
four of us with about the same exact car you know, everyone goes for
everything on the last lap and it didn't work out for everybody. Just really
happy finishing third, wasn't looking forward to the race, didn't think I
was going to have a really good car, but at the drop of the green flag the
Coors Light modified was pretty darn good."
Give your take on what was up with the leaders earlier in the race?
Silk replied, "I think it was Szegedy and Newman running one-two or whatever
order, we were running third or fourth in the next pack behind them. They
were a lot better than us and we were a lot better than the group behind us.
It was nice to have a real long run at the beginning and middle of the race.
I think that's why there wasn't a whole lot of side-by-side racing was
everyone got so spread out."
Asked of Eddie Flemke: Was track greasy at all today? "No, I didn't
think so, it was pretty good today. No, I think the track was fine, but
there was a whole lot more taking than giving out there today. A typical
Loudon finish. It was pretty intense.. I chose to just sit back and watch it
happen and it wasn't good! Either you push with them or step you back and
today I chose to step back and it paid off. I'm happy - a second place
finish is the best we have ever done here.
Ron was asked his take on what he saw coming out of three and four
on the last lap. "Well, you know the #4 (Lia) pulled out the down the
backstretch and had a good run on the #36 (Christopher), and the #2 (
Szegedy) had a better run than the #4 did. He bonzai'd by both of them down
on the apron, but there's no way you're going to make the corner when you
enter it that fast and just came off it three-wide and I had good from the
top coming across the track and trying to get under the #4 I just clipped
his back bumper coming off four and that's how that whole mess started. I
hate it for those guys that hit wall on the last lap. Nothing I could do, I
had a good run, I was trying to get to the bottom like they did before and I
misjudged by about an inch."
Flemke interjected, "There's a lot going on, something could be
going on in front of them. It's not necessarily that we're misjudging
sometime, but sometimes something happens in front of us in an instant and
you just don't have the time to react to it and that's how things trigger."
It was stated that it seemed like Teddy (Christopher) was using the
inside to his advantage on the restarts and was he able to get through
better? "No," replied Silk. "It's just that he's willing to drive right
through the side of the person he's along side of. He doesn't care if he
knocks them into to wall, so that's what you're dealing with."
Flemke went on to give 'his opinion' of what's wrong in racing
today. "You are rewarded for doing the wrong thing. If you go in there and
knock the guy out of the way and go on for the win - clap, clap, clap - good
job, you get the trophy, you get the girl, you get the money. If you lift
for the guy, you don't even get a pat on the back. So, we need to change the
merit system somehow. You gotta start getting rewarded for doing the right
Donny Lia's Post-Race Comments
When asked about the last lap crash, Lia stated, "I knew I was
racing the #36 and the #2 -- but I don't know who was where, I was
focusing." He continued, "The car that was on the bottom - whoever it was -
I felt came up the race track and drove into my left front tire and that's
when it all happened. I don't know which car that was, but I was trying to
hang in the middle there and keep my foot in it. Somebody dive bombed me and
came up the track and tried to pull a slide job on me - might have been
Teddy (Christopher) - he did that to me two or three times over the last two
"A few years ago people tried to set people up and pass them. Now
it's like you just dive bomb them and let it go right up the race track and
let the nerf bar do its job. We need to get away from that because somebody
is going to get hurt. I had enough of it and I said, 'you know what, I'm
keeping my foot in it, cause how many times can you just roll out of it and
let somebody take the spot? It's like a game of chicken and that's just not
He continued, "It was a fortunate situation for us, unfortunate for
those guys - and hopefully they're OK, I don't really even know how it
"Years ago you had a single nerf bar and if we had that today you'd
see a quarter of the wrecks and still see great racing. It's a dangerous
sport and somebody is going to get hurt. It wasn't that long ago that
someone did get killed." (referring to the loss of John Blewett III)
Lia concluded by thanking his sponsors, car owner and the track as
well as Whelen for assisting the series.
Source: Dave Meredith / Busch Sports Scene