WKA: Pit Board 2008-04-17

WKA's Pit Board presented by AMB i.t. - 04.17.2008 Paulie Harraka Wins NASCAR Late Model Season Opener For Toyota TRD 04.17.2008 - In what was to be a day of many firsts for Paulie Harraka, the teenage driver opened the NASCAR Whelen All ...

WKA's Pit Board presented by AMB i.t. - 04.17.2008

Paulie Harraka Wins NASCAR Late Model Season Opener For Toyota TRD

04.17.2008 - In what was to be a day of many firsts for Paulie Harraka, the teenage driver opened the NASCAR Whelen All American Late Model season with a hard fought and well deserved Victory at All American Speedway in Roseville, Ca.. The 18 year old Harraka, who is originally from New Jersey but is now residing in North Carolina, commutes cross-country to Sacramento, Ca. from North Carolina to drive for premier NASCAR team owner Bill McAnally. Paulie was choosen by Bill McAnally Racing to drive the BMR Late Models through the NASCAR backed Drive for Diversity Program through Access Marketing. To hear Harraka put it; "It's well worth the effort to commute back and forth from North Carolina to California each weekend to be able to take advantage of this great opportunity to drive for Bill McAnally Racing. Bill has helped developed so many top drivers; including Clint Boyer, Brendan Gaughan, & Austin Cameron."

"To win this race is a testament to BMR and my entire crew. Ryan, Travis, Herman, and Alex had the new RaceCar Factory car running great. My dad helped us out with the set-up and it handled perfectly".

Paulie qualified 3rd out of a field of 26 cars. His qualifying time of 13.75 just missed the Pole position time of 13.73 turned in by NASCAR Late Model veteran John Moore. Due to the inversion of the top 6, Harraka started the 50 lap feature in 4th position. After settling into the 5th spot by lap 5, Harraka first took the lead with an outside pass of Outside Pole qualifier Gary Glenn on lap 28. On lap 30 Glenn passed Harraka back to regain the front spot, relegating Harraka back to second place.

After a lap 38 restart, Harraka was able to move underneath Glenn to again challenge for the lead. The Harraka / Glenn duo ran side by side for 4 laps, with Harraka taking the top spot on lap 42. Paulie went on to lead the rest of the laps and go on to take a .8 sec Victory over John Moore, who passed Glenn with 2 laps to go to finish in second place.

"This was a very exciting, fun race to run. I had a blast out there running side by side with Gary Glenn and John Moore. Jeff Shrader from The RaceCar Factory built us a very good racecar, and my crew did an awesome job preparing this Ruth Chris Steakhouse Toyota Camry for tonights race. I'm very proud to have been able to bring Toyota TRD their very first victory in the NASCAR Whelen late Model Series here at All AMerican Speedway," Harraka said in Victory Lane.

"I want to thank my Crew Chief Ryan, Travis, Herman, Alex, Shop Foreman"Cheesecake" Nelley, my Dad for the set-up help, and Bill McAnally. I also want to thank Mike McKnight from Aim / Mychron, Holley Carb corp., Willy's Carbs, Drive for Diversity, and Simpson Safety Equipment. I also want to thank Ronnie Crooks, Wally Brown and Scott Hewitt from the Engineering Department at Joe Gibbs Racing; Kenny Francis and Rodney Childers of Gillett Evernham Motorsports; and Nick Hughes of Michael Waltrip Racing for all of their help and advice."

Paulie, who was recently, accepted to Duke University, will next race on April 19 in the second race of the 2008 season at All American Speedway. Harraka will run the full 20 race NASCAR Late Model schedule at All American Speedway and he will also race in select Camping World NASCAR Grand National races throughout 2008.

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Phil Reuter To Take Lead On NJMP

04.17.2008 - The Woodbridge Kart (WKC) is pleased to announce that Phil Reuter has stepped up to take the lead in our inaugural event at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) September 5-7, 2008 to ensure its success. Phil's home location in New Jersey makes him a perfect candidate for this endeavor. Karen McCollum is stepping in as Vice President for the remainder of the 2008 race season. Karen has been instrumental in organizing our events for the last few years and is extremely familiar with the role of Vice President.

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Phil Reuter To Take Lead On NJMP
Chris Keller Doubles in Season Opener

04.17.2008 - Green Brook, New Jersey (March 13, 2008) -- 19 year-old, Chris Keller, a former National Karting Champion just begun his 2008 National Formula Ford campaign at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, CA. The Ron Sutton's Winner's Circle development driver is in his second year with the program. Last season, Chris competed in a limited schedule with two third place finishes; one being in a Formula Ford and the other in a Formula Renault 1600.

Competing in his first race with Porter Racing in the 2008 season, Chris was quick off the bat in practice. Qualifying on the front row in second position Keller knew he had the car to win with. Three laps into the race Chris took the lead and never looked back gapping second place to take a thirty-second victory. The amazing thing is, is that Chris fought a misfire all weekend, and the team found a bad fuel pump Saturday which was replaced that night.

With the fuel pump fixed, Chris blitzed the field in qualifying for Sunday's race setting the new track record for a Formula Ford. Holding the lead straight from the start he would again go on to win by another thirty-seconds. Chris would also break the track record he set earlier in qualifying by a few more tenths of a second in the race.

"My crew chief Neil put a fantastic set-up on the car," commented Keller. "The season could not have started off any better and I look forward to going after the National Championship."

"Chris drove two excellent races and is a tremendous talent," stated crew chief Neil Porter. "His feedback was spot on which makes it very easy to do my job. Chris will go on to win many more races this season."

Chris would like to thank Advance Automotive, Porter Racing, and Ron Sutton's Winner's Circle for all of their support. Please visit www.chriskellerracing.com to learn more about Chris and to stay up-to-date with all of his latest racing news.

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Phil Reuter To Take Lead On NJMP
UMW Motorwerks Finalizes 2008 Race Schedule

04.17.2008 - UMW Motorwerks has finalized its 2008 race schedule for the team's newly-acquired Mazda MX-5 Cup car. Highlighting the 2008 schedule will be two trips to Road America, first for the June Sprints, and second for round four of the Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Series. The four-mile course serves as the home track for UMW and driver Steve Welk.

UMW Motorwerks kicks off the 2008 season at the famed Road Atlanta racing facility in Braselton, Georgia May 3rd for round one of the MX-5 Cup. Two weeks later, the team travels north of the border for the first time to Mosport International Raceway in Ontario. The Canadian trip is followed by an SCCA swing; first with a regional event at Road America followed by the SCCA Chicago Region June Sprints on June 21 where the team will try to capture the D-Production crown.

After a month-long break, the squad will be back in action traveling to the Pacific Northwest to Portland Raceway for round three of the MX-5 Cup. The UMW squad returns home for the Generac Power Weekend at Road America for round four of the MX-5 Cup followed by a second trip to Canada. Round five of the series will take the team to the streets of Quebec for the Grand Prix de Trois Rivieres.

Heading back out west for the start of a two week swing, UWM Motorwerks will visit Miller Motorsports Park for round six of the MX-5 series running in conjunction with the Rolex Grand-Am series. The team will load up and swiftly travel back across the country to the all-new New Jersey Motorsports Park for round seven of the MX-5 Cup the following weekend.

The team's final event of the season will be the final round of the 2008 Playboy MX-5 Cup at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca. The series finale is running in conjunction with the American LeMans series at Mazda's home track.

UMW Motorwerks has been hard at work putting the final touches on the #57 car to start off the year. The team and driver Steve Welk will begin their testing program in the next few days. Stay tuned for news and photos from the first test.

Established in 2008, UMW Motorwerks is the combination of two racing families with a history in karting; the Dresang family's UEMSI Motorwerks and the Welk family's Welk Motorsports. UMW Motorwerks will compete in the extremely competitive SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Championship. Driver Steve Welk will campaign the team's vividly-painted McLaren-orange #57 car as the championship crosses North America.

UMW Motorwerks aims to establish itself as a successful pro-racing organization as it strives to win races and fans alike on the Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Championship series tour. www.uemsimotorwerks.com

-credit: wka

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Series Kart
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Paulie Harraka , Brendan Gaughan , Nick Hughes , Steve Welk , Chris Keller , John Moore , Austin Cameron
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing , Joe Gibbs Racing