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   The Chrome Horn - NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour



Two-Time Champion Rebounds From Problem In Pits To Win

Donny Lia darted into the lead with 21 laps to go and pulled away to win the Budweiser King of Beers 150 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race at Thompson International Speedway on Thursday night.

It marked the 16th career win and third Thompson victory for the two-time tour champion from Jericho, N.Y.

Lia, who started ninth on the grid in the No. 4 Mystic Missile Racing Dodge, initially challenged pole-sitter Mike Stefanik for the lead on Lap 59. Stefanik battled back, however, to regain the lead and stay out front to the midway point of the race.

Lia, meanwhile, lost a lap to the leaders due to a problem with a lug nut during a pit stop, and two more subsequent trips to pit road to correct the issue. He gained the lap back as the beneficiary during a caution on Lap 83. Lia steadily worked his way forward from there. He was up to sixth by Lap 95 and moved by Todd Szegedy for second on Lap 108. Lia moved by Ron Silk for the lead on Lap 129 and set sail for the finish.

Tonight was a really good night to get back on track, and give these guys a win, Lia said. I means so much to me just to win. [Car owner] Bob [Garbarino] has had a rough year, hes had a lot of struggles, racing and in personal life. Hes just not a happy camper right now, so Im glad we can put a smile on his face and make it all worthwhile just for one night.

Silk held off Doug Coby for second. Ted Christopher, who was penalized for aggressive driving and sent to the back of the pack on Lap 84, rebounded to finish fourth. Stefanik was fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were Rowan Pennink, Jimmy Blewett, Bobby Santos, Ron Yuhas Jr. and Szegedy.

With his podium finish, Coby extended his streak of consecutive podium finishes to seven and maintained his lead in the championship standings.

Youve just gotta ride the wave, Coby said of his current streak. Ive been on the bottom of the wave for a long time and to be at the top feels really cool. My guys deserve good finishes so Im real proud to bring the [No.] 52 home in one piece.

For Lia, his two previous wins at Thompson came in 2007 and 2009, his title seasons. With this win, he secured a locked-in starting position for the inaugural UNOH Battle at the Beach during 2013 Speedweeks on a temporary short track at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

The Budweiser King of Beers 150 marked the first race in the second half of the tour schedule. It was the second of four tour events at Thompson this season and the 118th visit by the tour there. The tour returns to Thompson for the Town Fair Tire Northern 75/UNOH Showdown on Sept. 9 and for the season finale on Oct. 14. In the meantime, the next event on the tour schedule is the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 combination race with the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 22.

Budweiser King of Beers 150 - Unofficial Results

Thursday At Thompson International Speedway, Thompson, Conn.
Lap length:
0.625 miles

  (Start position in parentheses)
  1.   (9) Donny Lia, Jericho, NY, Dodge, 150 laps, 80.549 mph.
  2.   (4) Ron Silk, Norwalk, CT, Chevrolet, 150.
  3. (14) Doug Coby, Milford, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
  4.   (3) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
  5.   (1) Mike Stefanik, Coventry, R.I., Ford, 150.
  6.   (7) Rowan Pennink, Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Chevrolet, 150.
  7.   (8) Jimmy Blewett, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 150.
  8.   (2) Bobby Santos III, Franklin, Mass., Chevrolet, 150.
  9. (12) Ron Yuhas, Jr., Groton, Conn., Chevrolet, 150.
10.   (6) Todd Szegedy, Ridgefield, Conn, Ford, 150.
11. (11) Eric Beers, Northampton, Pa., Ford, 150.
12. (17) Patrick Emerling, Orchard Park, NY, Chevrolet, 150.
13. (18) Jamie Tomaino, Howell, N.J., Chevrolet, 150.
14. (25) Jon McKennedy, Chelmsford, Mass, Pontiac, 150.
15.   (5) Rob Fuller, Boylston, MA, Ford, 149.
16. (22) Ken Heagy, Calverton, N.Y., Ford, 149.
17. (21) Ryan Preece, Berlin, Conn., Ford, 147.
18. (24) Johnny Bush, Huntington Station, NY, Chevrolet, 145.
19. (13) Eric Berndt, Cromwell, Conn., Chevrolet, 100, mechanical.
20. (19) Ed Flemke, Jr., Southington, Conn, Chevrolet, 93.
21. (16) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, NY, Chevrolet, 91, mechanical.
22. (20) Woody Pitkat, Stafford, Conn., Ford, 87, accident.
23. (23) Wade Cole, Riverton, Conn., Chevrolet, 61.
24. (10) Eric Goodale, Riverhead, N.Y., Chevrolet, 16, mechanical.
25. (15) Justin Bonsignore, Holtsville, NY, Chevrolet, 15, accident.

Race Statistics
Time of Race:
1 hour 9 minutes 50 seconds
Margin of Victory: 2.120 seconds
Fastest Qualifier: M. Stefanik (121.372 mph, 18.538 seconds)
Caution Flags: 8 for 34 laps.
Lead Changes: 3 among 4 drivers.
Lap Leaders: M. Stefanik 1-74; T. Szegedy 75-94; R. Silk 95-128; D. Lia 129-150.

1. D. Coby, 350; 2. R. Silk, 309; 3. R. Preece, 295; 4. J. Blewett, 283; 5. D. Lia, 282; 6. T. Szegedy, 270; 7. M. Stefanik, 266; 8. T. Christopher, 263; 9. E. Beers, 261; 10. J. Bonsignore, 254.


  Source: Jason Cunningham / NASCAR
Posted: August 9, 2012

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