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For Bill McAnally Racing/Drive for Diversity(D4D) driver Paulie Harraka it was a night of firsts at All American Speedway in Roseville, California. It was his first win piloting the No. 16 Ruth’s Chris Steak House/NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. It was the first win of the season for a Drive for Diversity participant and it was the first time a Toyota Camry won an event at All American Speedway in the series. This is his second season with BMR and third as a participant with D4D.
The 50-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model feature began with Harraka on the outside of row two in a full field of cars. Harraka qualified the No. 16 Ruth’s Chris Steak House Toyota third with veteran driver John Moore on the pole. There was a “B” main to narrow down the field to twenty-two to compete in the “A” main. After one lap, the caution flag flew with Harraka maintaining his position. There were three more caution periods before Harraka would gain a position at lap 19. With five laps to go, Harraka made his move to the front of the field and never looked back. He took the checkered flag by a margin of .8 seconds ahead of Moore.
“This was an awesome race,” said Harraka. “There was a ton of side-by-side racing and we definitely had to work hard to win this one. The car was great all race long, especially on the short run. When that last caution flew, I knew my chance for the lead would come on the restart. I pressured Gary Glenn just enough to pull beside him and let me slide underneath. This is a perfect way to start the season. Everyone, especially Ryan, Travis, Herman, and Alex, worked really hard to make this happen. It’s really awesome that the entire field had to “Follow the Sizzle” tonight, as the rear bumper on our Ruth’s Chris Steak House Toyota Camry says! To bring Toyota and TRD their first win here makes it that much more special!”
It was the debut of BMR/D4D driver Katie Hagar at All American Speedway. Hagar pilots the No. 10 Rich Christensen’s ArmDropLive.com/Qdoba Mexican Grill/Berco Redwood/NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry. After testing Hagar, team owner Bill McAnally was impressed with the 22-year old and gave her the opportunity to start her first NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model race. She qualified the No. 10 Toyota in eighth. During the race Hagar fell back a couple of spots to tenth. At laps 45, she made one last charge towards the front to finish in sixth.
This was the first of 20 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Championship races at All American Speedway. The next race for the series will be April 19. For more information, please logon to www.allamericanspeedway.com