Paulie Harraka

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Paulie Harraka
Paulie Harraka Dover 2014.jpg
Harraka at Dover International Speedway in May 2014
Born (1989-09-15) September 15, 1989 (age 24)
Wayne, New Jersey, U.S.
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight 165 lb (75 kg)
Achievements 2008 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Champion
Awards 2009 NASCAR Camping World West Series Rookie of the Year
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
1 race(s) run over 1 year(s)
2013 position 75th
Best finish 75th (2013)
First race 2013 Toyota/Save Mart 350 (Sonoma)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
NASCAR Nationwide Series career
5 race(s) run over 4 year(s)
Car no., team No. 44 (TriStar Motorsports)
2013 position 85th
Best finish 85th (2013)
First race 2010 NAPA Auto Parts 200 (Montreal)
Last race 2014 Buckle Up 200 (Dover)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
11 race(s) run over 1 year(s)
Best finish 28th (2012)
First race 2012 NextEra Energy Resources 250 (Daytona)
Last race 2012 Pocono Mountains 125 (Pocono)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
Statistics current as of May 31, 2014.

Paul Peter "Paulie" Harraka (born September 15, 1989 in Wayne, New Jersey) is an American stock car racing driver and entrepreneur. A graduate of Duke University and a former representative of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program, he competes as an independent driver in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

Personal life[edit]

Harraka was born in Wayne, New Jersey, the first and only son of parents Paul Harraka and Donna Dikdan. His parents separated during his infancy, and later divorced, but held joint custody of Harraka throughout his childhood and adolescence. Harraka’s mother remarried, and Harraka has two sisters[1] from his mother and stepfather. Harraka attended Wayne Valley High School from his freshman through junior years, but spent his senior year at Lake Norman High School to be closer to NASCAR team Joe Gibbs Racing, where he worked as an engineering and research and development intern.[2] During this time, Harraka lived with Kenny Francis, crew chief for Kasey Kahne.[1]

After graduating from high school with a 4.38 GPA. Harraka opted to attend Duke University, stating “I think that in the modern age of racing, knowing all aspects of the business is crucial to being successful."[3] After beginning his studies in Mechanical Engineering, Harraka transferred to Duke’s Trinity School of Arts and Sciences, where he studied Markets and Management, Sociology, and History.[4] Harraka is one of only two NASCAR drivers with University degrees, the other being Ryan Newman.[5]

Racing career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Harraka first sat behind the wheel when he received a backyard fun kart from his family and started driving it around abandoned buildings. Harraka entered his first race on June 1, 1997 at Flemington Speedway, and despite being underage (Harraka was 7 and New Jersey law required that drivers be at least 8 years old), Harraka won.[6] In a karting career that spanned from 1997 to 2005, Harraka amassed a World Karting Association Triple Crown, the Holley Future Star Award, 13 National Championships, and 6 World Championships, and 158 total wins in go-karts. In 2005 he moved from kart to legends car racing, where he won multiple races.[7]

Harraka also won a popular karting event at Mark Dismore's karting facility in Indiana, the RoboPong 200 (now known as the Dan Wheldon Cup after the 2005 winner was killed in October 2011) karting event, teamed with on-sabbatical NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd.

NASCAR[edit]

Harraka qualifying at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2010

Harraka was invited to the Drive for Diversity Combine in the fall of 2006, where he impressed team owner BIll McAnally. McAnally hired Harraka to compete for his California-based team, despite Harraka still being in high school in New Jersey. Harraka traveled back and forth between New Jersey and California every weekend, and ultimately finished second in the All American Series in Roseville, California that year, winning the Rookie of the Year title. Harraka returned to the team in 2008, this time holding the duties of both driver and crew chief. The team would win 11 out of 23 races as well as the NASCAR Championship.[8]

At the end of 2008, McAnally elected to move Harraka up to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series for the final two races of the season as preparation for a full run in 2009. In the last race of the season, second race for the team, he qualified on the pole and led 40 laps.[9]

Over the next two seasons, Harraka competed full-time for McAnally, first under the NAPA Autocare banner, then with NAPA Filters sponsorship, with crew chief Duane Knorr. The team has won 3 races and has 15 top 5 finishes in 30 total races.[10] They finished 4th and 3rd in the series championship in 2009 and 2010, respectively, with Harraka winning Rookie of the Year in 2009 and Move of the Race in 2010.

Harraka took 2011 off from racing to further his studies, but did run the K&N Pro Series West race at Infineon Raceway. For 2012, Harraka competed in the Camping World Truck Series, running for Rookie of the Year driving for Wauters Motorsports.[11] Midway through the season the team chose to skip races at Michigan International Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway to regroup;[12] however before the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway Harraka parted ways with Wauters Motorsports.[13]

In September 2012, Harraka drove for Go Green Racing in the Nationwide Series at Richmond International Raceway.[14]

Returning to Go Green for selected races in 2013, Harraka made his Sprint Cup Series debut at Sonoma Raceway in the team's No. 52 Ford.[15] Unfortunately, he was involved in an incident with Alex Kennedy on pit road, causing damage to both cars. The team spent the first 21 laps of the race making repairs, but were able to get back on the track and finished 39th.

Entrepreneurship[edit]

Paulie Harraka LLC[edit]

In 2011 Harraka was sought out by a group of Fortune 500 CEOs, venture capitalists, and professional sports executives as a partner to launch innovative technology platforms that challenge conventional approaches to the sport and business of NASCAR. The investor group, Paulie Harraka LLC, both supports Harraka's NASCAR racing activities and entrepreneurial business ventures disruptive to NASCAR.[16] In November 2013, Harraka delivered a talk chronicling his entrepreneurial ventures at TEDxBeaconStreet in Boston, making Harraka the only NASCAR driver ever to deliver a TED presentation.[17]

Motorsports career results[edit]

NASCAR[edit]

(key) (Bold - Pole position awarded by time. Italics - Pole position earned by points standings. * – Most laps led.)

Sprint Cup Series[edit]

Nationwide Series[edit]

Camping World Truck Series[edit]

* Season in progress
1 Ineligible for series points

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Senior Writer. "Paul Harraka: NASCAR Drive for Diversity Ace and Master Juggler". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  2. ^ http://insiderracingnews.com/Writers/RG/111212.html
  3. ^ Merritt, Richard. "NASCAR Winner | Duke Engineering News". Den.pratt.duke.edu. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  4. ^ Bridget Booher (2012-05-09). "Paul Harraka: Pursuing the Pole Position | Duke Today". Today.duke.edu. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  5. ^ Senior Writer (2008-10-25). "Paul Harraka NASCAR's Next Martin Truex, Jr.?". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  6. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/10/nyregion/nyregionspecial2/10drivernj.html?pagewanted=print&_r=0
  7. ^ "Motorsports Seminars by Victory Marketing Team - Guest Speakers - Paulie Harraka". Victorymarketingteam.com. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  8. ^ Thursday Sep 11 2008 (2008-09-11). "Harraka wins track championship in final week | The Press Tribune Newspaper". Thepresstribune.com. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  9. ^ Cunningham, Jason (2008-10-25). "Qualifying: Harraka Earns 1st Pole | NASCAR Home Tracks". Hometracks.nascar.com. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  10. ^ "Paulie Harraka Career Statistics". Racing-Reference.info. 1989-09-15. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  11. ^ "Wauters Joins Team Ownership Ranks". SPEEDtv.com. Fox Sports. January 26, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  12. ^ Vorse, Sandra (August 16, 2012). "Harraka – Wauters Motorsports MIS Bristol Release". Wauters Motorsports. Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  13. ^ "Paulie Harraka and Wauters Motorsports Part Ways Effective Immediately". YardBarker. Fox Sports. August 30, 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-31. 
  14. ^ Adamczyk, Jay (September 3, 2012). "Harraka to drive for Go Green at Richmond". Jayski's Silly Season Site. ESPN. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  15. ^ Spencer, Lee (June 12, 2013). "D4D driver gets Sprint Cup chance". Fox Sports. Retrieved 2013-06-12. 
  16. ^ "The NASCAR dreams of Paulie Harraka - Magazine". The Boston Globe. 2013-06-23. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 
  17. ^ Welch, Maura (2013-11-13). "An Independently Organized TED Event | NASCAR Confidential". TEDxBeaconStreet. Retrieved 2014-06-04. 

External links[edit]