Donny Lia Leads The Way In Whelen Mod Tour Mr. Rooter 161 Practice At Waterford

Donny Lia  (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

Donny Lia (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

WATERFORD – Last year Donny Lia left the New London-Waterford Speedbowl quite perturbed after the running of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Mr. Rooter 161.

Bobby Santos III got a little aggressive with Lia to move him out of the lead late and went on to win the race.

Saturday it looked like Lia was on mission to get redemption for some unfinished business when the division hit the track for practice for tonight’s Mr. Rooter 161.

Lia, of Jericho, N.Y., led the field in practice for the event, touring the .375-mile oval with a fast lap of 14.031 seconds (96.216 mph).

Keith Rocco of Wallingford, making his first start as the full-time driver for Our Motorsports, was second in the practice with a fast lap of 14.053 seconds (96.065 mph).

Rocco took over the Our Motorsports ride – then on an interim basis – prior to the running of the NAPA Spring Sizzler 200 at Stafford Motor Speedway on April 26, the most previous Whelen Modified Tour event. Soon after he was named as the full-time replacement for previous driver Tommy Barrett Jr.

Last Saturday the 30-year old Rocco took over sole possession of the top spot on the Speedbowl’s all-time win list. He has 108 career victories at the track.

Doug Coby of Milford, the 2012 winner of the Mr. Rooter 161 at Waterford and the reigning series champion, was third fastest in practice at 14.099 seconds (95.751 mph).

Santos, of Franklin Mass. was fourth fastest (14.012 seconds, 95.731 mph). Woody Pitkat of Stafford, the series points leader and the winner the Spring Sizzler, was fifth fastest at 14.116 seconds (95.636 mph).


  1. Who is Donnie’s crew chief also where is the based out here in ct or long island

  2. Shawn, thanks for keeping those of us that can’t attend due to work commitments up to date. Looks like its going to be an exciting evening of racing.

  3. Stevie,
    Crew chief is Dan Laferriere. Not sure where the team is based out of at this point. Had previously been based out of Long Island.

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