|credit: 140 Buzz|
Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) will be competing part-time on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) with driver Donny Lia in 2017, with Baldwin bringing back the iconic No. 7NY. The car number has a rich history in the NASCAR touring series and the local tracks on Long Island, with 54 combined wins with the late "Tiger" Tom Baldwin Sr. at the wheel.
Lia, a two-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Champion (2007 and 2009) and Long Island native, brings a wealth of experience to the team. With a career dating back to 2001, Lia raced Baldwin on the Tour.
"Tom and I quickly became friends early in my racing career, I was able to learn a lot from him," said Lia. “To now drive for Tommy in the 7NY that his father ran means a lot to me. I just can't thank him enough for this opportunity."
Baldwin and Lia have crossed paths before, with Baldwin serving as the crew chief for Lia's first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start in 2008.
"There are things I have taken from that one race with Tommy years ago that I have brought with me throughout my career," said Lia. "Knowing how much I learned from only one race with Tommy makes me that much more excited for the upcoming season."
“This (modifieds) was my introduction to racing," said Baldwin. "As a kid it's really all that I knew. Watching and then ultimately working with my dad not only taught me the technical side, but gave me a competitive spirit. He always said 'there is no replacement for winning.'”
"When I moved to North Carolina, I took my roots with me," Baldwin continued. "I knew that at some point, at some level, I would be back involved with modifieds. I stay in contact with and follow the series regularly. It's always been an important part of my life and now I will have the opportunity to enjoy great memories and create new ones. With a great driver like Donny behind the wheel, the 7NY team is excited for our first race."
"I am very honored that Tommy wants to go racing with me in his car," said Lia. "This is a deal that I feel completes my career. It has come full circle. I get to be racing a modified that Tommy owns, with the 7NY on it. I can say, out of all the cool stuff I have had the opportunity to do throughout my career, this is right at the top of the list."
Baldwin and Lia are scheduled to compete at the following races:
- 3/18 Myrtle Beach Speedway
- 4/30 Stafford Motor Speedway
- 6/14 Thompson Speedway
- 7/14 New Hampshire Motor Speedway Race of Champions
- 7/15 New Hampshire Motor Speedway
- 8/4 Stafford Motor Speedway
- 8/9 Thompson Speedway
- 9/2 Oswego Speedway
- 9/16 Riverhead Raceway
- 9/23 New Hampshire Motor Speedway