OVER: LIA AND PREECE SET FOR TITLE TILT
Whelen Modified Tour
Championship To Be Settled
This Sunday At Thompson
When the green flag drops on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s season finale
– the World Series of Speedway Racing presented by Xtra Mart - this Sunday
at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway, the waiting game will finally be
Donny Lia took his fourth checkered flag of the season last time
out on Oct. 4 at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway and moved into the
championship points lead for the first time this year. The 2007 titlist has
little breathing room atop the standings, however, as Ryan Preece crossed
the line third that day to sit a mere 26 points out of first.
After a scheduled off week, the 2009 championship was to be settled
at Thompson on Oct. 18, but rain and snow forced the event to be postponed.
Now with a more promising forecast, the World Series of Speedway Racing
looks likely to take the green flag this Sunday, and the Whelen Modified
Tour champion will finally be crowned. The three-week layoff has led to
heightened anticipation for both title contenders.
“I’m really pumped up and excited to go to Thompson,” Lia said.
“It’s been about three weeks since we raced, and it was supposed to be two
weeks, so you just get amped up. You want to go to the race track and race.
These three weeks off has seemed like forever.”
Preece - like Lia - has avoided getting impatient, but is likewise
anticipating returning to the track.
“I’m ready to race,” Preece said. “You get all these people talking
about the championship – who they want to win, who wants to win – that kind
of deal. You kind of just want it to come, and get it over with. I’m just
looking forward to the race, and seeing if we can pull it off.”
While both have not lost sight of the big picture, they intend to
bring the same mentality to the track this weekend that they have each and
every race this year: race to win.
“You go to every race to win the race,” Preece said. “That’s what
you’re paid to do. That’s what we want. We’re definitely going [there] to
win the race, and we have the car and the team capable of doing it. I’m
definitely going there looking to win the race, and let the points fall
wherever they do.”
Although Lia has a points cushion entering the weekend, don’t
expect him to ride around on Sunday either.
“You kind of stick to the same principles and same goals, which is
to win the race,” Lia said. “We always just go for the win and get the best
finish we can. Just take the same approach to it, try to win the race and
let everything else fall into place from there.”
Lia can clinch his second NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour crown in
three years by finishing fifth or better at Thompson, but with Preece so
close behind, there are a number of scenarios that will make every lap
important in the season finale.
The World Series of Speedway Racing presented by Xtra Mart is
scheduled to commence for the Whelen Modified Tour with practice and
qualifying on Saturday, Oct. 25. The 150-lap race is set to go green on
Sunday, Oct. 25 at approximately 3:30 p.m.
Source: Jason Cunningham