Paulie Harraka was set to be one of the next super stars in NASCAR after winning three races for Mike Curb in two years in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. Harraka was heading towards fame and was set to win some championship, but he lacked one thing. Sponsorship.
Making his national series debut in 2010 with NEMCO Motorsports, Harraka ran a road course and ran well until he was involved in a wreck that put him 22 laps down. In 2012, he was able to do something that not too many drivers could do. Harraka was enrolled in Duke University while focusing on racing. Now that he graduated college, he can put his focus on his racing.
After not being too successful in 11 Camping World Truck Series starts last season with Wauters Motorsports, Harraka didn’t return to the team this year due to a lack of sponsorship. However, this year may be looking different for the 23-year-old Wayne, NJ native. This weekend will be a possible sign of things to come for Harraka.
It was announced that Go Green Racing has hired Harraka to drive the No. 79 Nationwide Series car at the Auto Club Speedway this weekend. The car is usually piloted by Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s grandson, Jeffrey Earnhardt, but his situation is similar to Harraka’s as he simply doesn’t have the funding to run each race.
The start will be Harraka’s fourth career Nationwide Series start and his first for Go Green Racing. He’s raced for the team’s old satellite team, Randy Hill Racing, but that team seems to have dissolved this year, well at least for now. Expect Harraka to run within the top 20-25 throughout the race. The team doesn’t have too many resources, but he’s bringing in Crackle as a sponsor which should help the team’s revenue in the long run.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR and reached via e-mail at Joseph.Wolkin@gmail.com.