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WATERFORD, Conn. – A two-time champion with double-digit wins and poles in his NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour career, Donny Lia has accomplished most things out there. He knocked one missing item off of the list Saturday with his first Coors Light Pole Award at Waterford Speedbowl.
Lia is a veteran of nine previous Whelen Modified Tour races at Waterford, where he’s captured two checkered flags, but he had yet to grab a pole at the .375-mile oval. That ended Saturday when the Jericho, New York, native posted a fast lap of 13.869 seconds (97.339 mph) during Mr. Rooter 161 qualifying for his 19th career pole.
Lia will be joined on the front row for tonight’s Mr. Rooter 161 by Bobby Santos. Santos’ lap of 14.003 (96.408) stood until the very end when Lia, the last car to take time, knocked him off the provisional pole.
Eric Goodale, Ron Silk and Justin Bonsignore rounded out the top five qualifiers. The rest of the top 10 in the 28-car field included: Derek Ramstrom, Craig Lutz, Doug Coby, Ron Yuhas Jr. and Woody Pitkat.
Defending race winner and tour titlist Ryan Preece qualified 14th.
The Mr. Rooter 161, the fourth race of the 2014 Whelen Modified Tour season, will go green at approximately 9 p.m.