Paulie Hartwig III Makes History With North Wilkesboro Sweep

The 11-year-old driver swept the Carolina Crate Modified Series races at North Wilkesboro.


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It's no small feat to add to the expansive record books of North Wilkesboro Speedway. However, Paulie Hartwig III did just that this week.

The 11-year-old from Galloway, New Jersey swept the Carolina Crate Modified Series features on Tuesday and Wednesday night at the Racetrack Revival, becoming the youngest winner in the history of the storied short track.

On both nights, Hartwig showed veteran savvy, using late-race moves to take the checkered flag. On Tuesday night, he passed Carson Loftin to take the win on lap 39 of 40. On Wednesday night, he worked his way past 2020 North-South Shootout winner Max McLaughlin on lap 37.


Near the end of Wednesday night's race, all of the front runners were hanging on for dear life after pushing hard on their tires for 40 laps. That was no different for Hartwig, but he had enough speed to take the win.

"My right-rear burned off and I was really wrecking loose," said Hartwig in victory lane. "We tried to save these tires all the way. The track was fast, and my car was really fast until the end."

Hartwig muscled his way underneath McLaughlin late in the race as both drivers fought for control on the abrasive North Wilkesboro racing surface.

"I can't believe we got two for two. I thought Max McLaughlin was going to win. He left the door open, so I had to snap under and keep the lead."

While Hartwig tried to put into words what he accomplished this week in the Crate Modifieds, the crowd in the packed frontstretch grandstands at North Wilkesboro roared in a show of support for the young driver.

"It was blowing my mind. I was like, 'Dude, we're going two-for-two.' I've got to thank these fans. You guys are great!"