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Crew chief-turned-owner Wauters tabs Harraka

January 26, 2012, Team Release, NASCAR.com

MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Wauters Motorsports ventures into Truck Series with former D4D driver

Veteran crew chief Richie Wauters is taking the leap into Camping World Truck Series team ownership with the formation of Wauters Motorsports, which in 2012 will be driven by rookie of the year contender Paulie Harraka.

Wauters' career began at tracks around his hometown of Green Bay, Wis., and he quickly moved to the NASCAR touring series. He has crewed successful Cup Series teams with drivers Kenny Wallace, Elliott Sadler, Robert Pressley and Jeff Green.

Harraka

Wauters, in his tenure as a crew chief in the Truck Series, led teams to 18 victories from 2004-10 with Shane Hmiel, Kyle Busch and Aric Almirola.

"It is something I thought about for awhile," Wauters said of his decision to become a team owner. "I had the opportunity to buy some trucks and have a great driver headlining the team. It hasn't been a difficult transition so far and we are really excited about the season. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is very competitive and I'm certain Paulie and the guys on this team will be right in the thick of that competition."

Harraka, a former Drive for Diversity driver, has built up a resume that includes a NASCAR Whelen All-American Series rookie of the year title and a championship, and a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West rookie title.

"Having the opportunity to jump into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is an opportunity I've worked for since I was 7 years old," said Harraka, a three-time Pro Series West winner. "I am fortunate to see it coming to fruition. To be doing so with a championship crew chief like Richie Wauters and with the team he's assembled is exciting. I'm the kind of driver that will put in whatever time, effort or work that is needed to win races, and I know that Richie is the same kind of crew chief. Together, we'll hold nothing back, and that makes me confident that we'll find the winner's circle in short order."

Harraka is finishing up his final semester at Duke University, and his graduation will make him part of a very small group of NASCAR drivers with their college degrees. Harraka has focused his education on "anything that can help me in racing; engineering, leadership, finance, you name it. I've challenged myself at Duke to become a completely differentiated NASCAR driver."

Wauters Motorsports will be utilizing Roush Yates Racing Engines in its Fords.