Bringing the Tour-type Modifieds to Bristol continues a tradition of showcasing race cars not normally seen on the half-mile eastern Tennessee track. Bristol management says it's all about giving the fans something extra and Lia couldn't agree more.
"This was a great race for the fans to watch, coming here for the first time, to Bristol," said the Long Island, New York, native. "Winning any race is special, but this one-Bristol-is a bonus."
The successful running of the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 along with other events like Frank Kimmel's Street Stock Nationals cements Bristol's standing as one of the most innovative and forward-thinking NASCAR tracks in the country.
A Little Nascar Modified History
The NASCAR Modified division was formed as part of NASCAR's creation in December 1947. NASCAR held a Modified race as its first sanctioned event on February 15, 1948, on the beach course at Daytona Beach. Red Bryon won the event and 11 more races that year. He would go on to win the first NASCAR Modified Championship that same year. The Strictly Stock division, which evolved into today's Sprint Cup Series, did not race until 1949.
Ryan Newman's day came to...
Ryan Newman's day came to an early end as he was involved in four-car pileup on lap 4.
During the second half of...
During the second half of the race Todd Szegedy (2) goes to the high side and puts some serious pressure on Teddy Christopher (36) for the lead.
In the end, neither Szegedy...
In the end, neither Szegedy nor Christopher could handle the second half onslaught from veteran Donny Lia. With the Bristol win in hand, Lia finished out the remainder of the Modified season strong, capturing his second championship in the last three years. It was the closest points race in more than a decade with Lia winning the title by a mere 16 points over Ryan Preece.
The modern-day NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour began in 1985 with 29 races, and was named the NASCAR Winston Modified Tour. It switched sponsorship in 1994, and was renamed the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series. Two major changes to the tour came in 2005. Whelen Engineering took over sponsorship of the series, and NASCAR introduced a new Modified division in the Southeastern United States known as the Whelen Southern Modified Tour. That same year the two tours ran a combination race at Martinsville Speedway.
Lengendary Modified racer Ritchie Evans really put the division on the NASCAR fan map. The holder of a record nine NASCAR Modified championships, Evans won his last championship in 1985, the first year of the Winston Modified Tour. Driving cars built and maintained in his own shop, Evans won 12 of his 28 starts on the Tour, including five consecutive victories in July and August.
In October, the season ended in tragedy when Evans was killed in a practice accident in preparation for the final race of the season, the Winn-Dixie 500 at Martinsville. He had already clinched the title.