November 8, 1978 |
Jericho, New York, United States
|Achievements||2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 Race of Champions winner
2007, 2009 Whelen Modified Tour Champion
|Awards||2003 Whelen Modified Tour Rookie of the Year|
|NASCAR Nationwide Series career|
|1 race(s) run over 1 year(s)|
|Best finish||150th – 2009|
|First race||2009 Carquest Auto Parts 300 (Charlotte)|
|NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career|
|39 race(s) run over 3 year(s)|
|Best finish||18th - 2008|
|First race||2007 New Hampshire 200 (New Hampshire)|
|Last race||2010 Smith's 350 (Las Vegas)|
|First win||2008 Ohio 250 (Mansfield)|
|Statistics current as of February 4, 2012.|
Donny Lia (born November 8, 1978 in Jericho, New York) is an American race car driver. He won the 2007 & 2009 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship. He also won the Race of Champions Modified Tour races in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. He has raced in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Before he began his racing career, Lia competed in computer racing games online against competitors all over the world. He credits gaming for helping develop his interest in motorsports and for improving his reflexes and his hand-eye coordination.
In 1999, Lia began racing a Legends car at Wall Stadium (Wall, New Jersey). He won several times including the track's biggest event, the prestigious Turkey Derby. In 2000, Lia continued racing his Legends car with success all over the eastern United States. He competed in the NASCAR Modified division at Riverhead Raceway (Riverhead, New York) and he won Rookie of the Year honors in 2001. He also made his NASCAR Modified Tour debut at Martinsville Speedway. The 2002 season was spent gaining experience for a full-time move to the NASCAR Modified Tour in 2003.
He placed in the top ten in NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series (previous name of the Whelen Modified Tour) points in 2003 on his way to another Rookie of the Year award. He claimed five poles in 2004, more than any other competitor, which earned him the Bud Pole Award. He also competed on the Race of Champions Modified Tour, taking a big victory in the second-annual North-South Shootout at Concord Motorsport Park in North Carolina. Lia continued racing his Modifieds in 2005, winning two Whelen Modified Tour races and finishing sixth in WMT season points.
In 2006, he was given his first opportunity to race in a stock car. He practiced and qualified for the Nashville Superspeedway event in the ARCA series. He won one event on the Whelen Modified Tour and two pole positions, and he won three unsanctioned events. The next season, he won six Whelen Modified Tour races including the events at Martinsville, 2 at Stafford, Thompson, New Hampshire, and Riverhead. He clinched the season points championship before the final race. On September 15, 2007 he made his first appearance in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. He raced in the Bill Davis Racing #36 Toyota at New Hampshire, finishing 20th.
He had been set for HT Motorsports with the #59 Toyota in late 2007, and drove at Homestead hoping for a full 2008 season. However, sponsorship did not pan out, and instead joined The Racer's Group for the 2008 season, driving Kevin Buckler's #71 The Racer's Group Nationrides.com/Zurich North America Chevrolet Silverado starting at Auto Club Speedway (he was ineligible to race at Daytona because of minimum driver proficiency rules). He had his first Top 10 finish at Martinsville Speedway when he finished ninth. He had his first Craftsman Truck Series win at Mansfield in the Ohio 250 on May 24, 2008 by nudging race leader David Starr out of the way on the final lap, which is currently the only lap he has led in his Truck Series career. He is the first rookie to win a Truck Series event since Carl Edwards in the 2003 season. Late in the season, he was released from TRG, and signed to drive for Randy Moss for most of the rest of the season
Lia returned to the Mystic Missile this year in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, winning four times and winning his second championship. He also made his Nationwide debut at Lowe's Motor Speedway, but finished last in the #07 SK Motorsports Toyota Camry. He drove a part-time schedule in the #07 Chevrolet Silverado for SS-Green Light Racing in the Truck Series in 2010.
|NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion
Bobby Santos III
|NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion