So Lia waited for the right opportunity to get by Christopher.
“We were going at it pretty hard and if there’s anybody you want to beat like that its Ted Christopher because he’s pretty much the best. So you either race with him and learn from the guy, and tonight we raced with him, learned from him, and beat him, so that’s really gratifying for us.”
The money is just a bonus for Lia, who said “the money was never on my mind. It’s a great paycheck and really helps us out, but at the end of the day you just want to go racing.”
“We were just riding, trying to save the tires there, trying not to catch the back of the field,” said Beers. The #43 (Alexander) started coming, so I started going around the lap cars, and a couple of them tangled up and one hit the brakes there because he was broke and I just got into him a little bit and when I checked up Kirk drove over the left front of me there.”
Kirk Alexander was disappointed that he wasn’t able to finish out the race.
“We just worked our way up through the outside like we usually do and the car was awesome, the car was getting better and better,” said Alexander. “We got up to second and just working Eric over and I could see he was getting really loose, but then a lap car was up in the upper groove and Eric got into him…ricocheted off him and that was about it.”
LIA SURIVIVES TO WIN SEEKONK OPEN MOD SHOWby April Barker
Beers, TC and Kirk Alexander Take Their Best Shots at Victory Lane
With $10,000 on the line, racing is bound to be exciting. Donny Lia and the 18 team showed that a combination of smart racing, patience, and speed were how to get the job done Wednesday night.
The battle was between Lia and rival Ted Christopher in the closing laps of the Vivieros Insurance Modified Madness 100 at Seekonk Speedway on July 20. Lia went home with the victory, the paycheck, and the trophy, but the excitement at Seekonk began long before the checkered flag waved.
Eric Beers had the car to beat from the start. He led ¾ of the race, battling with Ted Christopher in the beginning. But TC just couldn’t get around him.
Meanwhile, Kirk Alexander in the 43 was racing Jimmy Kuhn in the 72 for the third spot. Alexander finally got by Kuhn around lap 31 and soon went on to take second spot.
The real action came around lap 77. Alexander was starting to run down Beers and they started to catch up to lapped traffic. After leading most of the race, Beers ran into trouble.
There was a full field of Mods on hand at Seekonk.
Lia credits his Crew Chief Kevin Crowley with helping him run a smart race.
“He knew that the race was going to come to us and that’s what he keeps instilling in my head…and tonight that’s the way it worked out. So I’m really happy and proud that we ran a smart race.”
It wasn’t a tour race, but Lia is looking forward to this weekend “We’ll have a good race car,” he said.
April Barker is the producer and on-air host of Weekend Thunder, a radio show that airs on Boston's only NASCAR station AM 1510. Click here for more information.
But the obviously disappointed Alexander still sounded optimistic about the future.
“The car was fast though…just wait,” he said.
TC wasn’t expecting to get back up to the front, but when Beers and Alexander tangled it put him back in position to fight for the win. But Christopher’s car became too tight to hold off Donny Lia.
“We were real good on short runs but just too tight on long runs,” said Christopher. “It just kept getting tighter and tighter. So we were basically staying there and then
Lia ended the night in victory lane at Seekonk. (Jim DuPont Photos)
those guys wrecked so we got the lead and then that run went pretty long there and I just couldn’t hold it down any longer and Donny got up underneath me.”
Just as Lia got the lead at about lap 98 there was a wreck on the backstretch that brought out the yellow flag. He was able to hold off TC on the green-white-checkered restart and took home the win.
“We just wanted to ride around and save our car for the end, and about the time I wanted to get going they had that wreck up front and we got up there,” said Lia, who said knew he could get by TC but tried to be patient and drive a smart race. “I knew it was a matter of time. I just didn’t want to force the issue and then rip a left front or a right front off our car.”
How close was the racing? Well, can you even see the #18 of Donny Lia on the inside racing with Ted Christopher in the #00?