The 11-year-old boy from Galloway Township is a race car driver who last week beat some of the best adult racers in the country, as well as his father twice.
Pauly Hartwig III was too young to race in New Jersey, so his family loaded up the car and drove nine hours south to North Carolina.
“There were so many people that I felt nervous getting out of the car,” says Hartwig III.
The Hartwig family towed what they called the Asphalt Modified, a 300-horsepower machine, to a special event called “Racetrack Revival.”
“I was really excited when I took the lead, I was screaming with excitement when I caught the flag and I had a lot of emotions running through my head,” says Hartwig III.
The last time the Nascar Winston Cup raced was in 1996, but last week Hartwig III drove his car into Victory Lane not once, but twice.
“When he went to the pass with three guys left, I couldn’t see,” says his mother, Lisa. “I got down on my knees and started hammering the concrete.”
With both her son and husband in the truck, Lisa’s nervousness turned to tears of joy.
“It was amazing to look up at the crowd and see how many people were rooting for him. It was breathtaking,” says Lisa.
On his way to victory, he left his father in the dust and finished half a lap ahead of his mentor.
“If he hadn’t hit me, I’d say I’d failed as a parent.
On the second night, my father knew he had no chance of winning. He parked his car with a few laps to go, grabbed his radio headset, and talked to Pauley all the way through.
“For me, it meant more to me to pull over and watch the last night than the first night when I wasn’t in the same straight as him,” Hartwig Jr. says. If so, I was hoping to see it tonight.
Pauley says he has no immediate plans to race a NASCAR stock car. What he really wants to do is be able to race in his home state of New Jersey. He can legally do it four years after he turns 15.
Pauly actually started racing at the age of four and has racked up hundreds of wins in go-karts and quarter midgets, two of which he says are the biggest of his young career. increase.