Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Harraka to make Nationwide Debut in Montreal

112585 Mooresville, N.C. – August 25, 2010 – When the NASCAR® Nationwide Series heads north of the border for its annual visit to Canada this weekend, one of the series’ most experienced race teams will have a fresh face behind the wheel. Paulie Harraka, in his sophomore season in the K&N Pro Series West and his junior year at Duke University, will pilot the Exide® Batteries #87 Chevrolet for NEMCO Motorsports at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal on Sunday, August 29. The race will air live on ESPN 2 at 2:30 PM EST.

This event marks the NASCAR Nationwide Series debut for Harraka, who is a member of the Drive for Diversity program. Harraka, the winningest driver in the program, won the 2008 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Championship in 2008, followed by NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Rookie of the Year in 2009. Currently, he is 3rd in K&N Pro Series West points standings.

After finishing 2nd in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Infineon this summer, Harraka caught the eye of Joe Nemechek, NEMCO Motorsports owner. “I’ve been impressed with how he’s grown as a race car driver – particularly on the road courses,” said Nemechek, who has won 16 Nationwide Series races.

“Paulie has always seized opportunities presented to him, whether it’s a scholarship at Duke or a seat in my race car. It's going to be an honor to give a talented ‘Drive for Diversity racer’ a ride in one of our cars.”

To make his Nationwide debut for such a storied team is a dream come true for Harraka. “I love road course racing and can’t wait to compete at Montreal,” said an exuberant Harraka. “I can’t express how grateful I am to Joe and Andrea Nemechek for the opportunity to drive their racecar in Montreal. And, to have our car branded with Exide® Batteries – a symbol of top performance and rich racing heritage—makes it even more special.”

The NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve will kick off a busy week for Harraka. Immediately following the race, Harraka will fly to Durham, North Carolina to begin his first class of his junior year at Duke University. On Wednesday, August 25, Harraka will be featured in Changing Lanes, a reality series that follows the Drive for Diversity program drivers as they chase their NASCAR dreams. The premiere episode will air at 8:00 PM EST on BET.

“Paulie Harraka is an incredible new talent, making Exide’s affiliation with NASCAR® even more exciting,” said Bruce Cole, President – Transportation Americas, Exide Technologies. “Not only does this sponsorship afford us additional opportunities to showcase Exide’s Official Battery of NASCAR® status, it also aligns our Company’s premium-quality, track-proven portfolio of battery products with the brand-loyal NASCAR audience.”

About Paulie Harraka
Paulie Harraka is, in the words of ESPN columnist Ed Hinton, “a meteor that hasn’t hit your lawn yet. A bullet train headed down your driveway. If Paulie were a hurricane, he’d be a Cat-3 and building, projected to be a Cat-5 by the time he makes landfall.” Harraka's won in everything he's been in, including go-karts, where he won 6 World Championships, Legends Cars, NASCAR Whelen All-American Series cars, and NASCAR K&N Pro Series cars. As a fan favorite, Harraka has been featured by some of the biggest media outlets, including ESPN, the New York Times, and Sirius/XM. A lifelong race fan, he is also a featured chapter in a new book: “The Weekend Starts on Wednesday, True Stories of Remarkable NASCAR Fans.”

And it’s not just the fans that love him: Harraka is a rising junior at Duke University, where he is on a scholarship, giving him unmatched boardroom appeal without losing touch with the core racing fan. As a member of the community, Harraka is a Celebrity Ambassador for Childhelp, a national foundation that works with abused children, and is a founding member of the Duke Children’s Hospital Student Board. to learn more.

About NEMCO Motorsports
NEMCO Motorsports was founded in 1990 to start Joe Nemechek's NASCAR Busch Series racing program. It is a family operation, where Joe's family is an integral part of the operation. Today, NEMCO is fielding cars in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series. To date, NEMCO Motorsports has more than 28 NASCAR wins. Joe began his racing career at age 13 in motocross racing. He won more than 300 events before turning to stock cars in the 1980s. Joe ran his first full season in the NASCAR Busch Series in 1990, capturing Rookie of the Year honors. Just two years later, Joe won the 1992 NASCAR Busch Series Championship title. Joe was voted NASCAR Busch Series Most Popular Driver in 1992 and 1993. Joe is known throughout racing as "Front Row Joe" for his 28 pole starting positions, 20 wins and 183 top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. to learn more.

About Exide Technologies
Exide Technologies, with operations in more than 80 countries and fiscal 2010 net sales of approximately $2.7 billion, is one of the world's largest producers and recyclers of lead-acid batteries. The Company's four global business groups – Transportation Americas, Transportation Europe and Rest of World, Industrial Energy Americas and Industrial Energy Europe and Rest of World – provide a comprehensive range of stored electrical energy products and services for industrial and transportation applications.
Transportation markets include original-equipment and aftermarket automotive, heavy-duty truck, agricultural and marine applications, and new technologies for hybrid vehicles and automotive applications. Industrial markets include network power applications such as telecommunications systems, electric utilities, railroads, photovoltaic (solar-power related) and uninterruptible power supply (UPS), and motive-power applications including lift trucks, mining and other commercial vehicles. To learn more, visit


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