We've all had mishaps while leaving our driveways. Maybe you've knocked a rear-view mirror off on the side of the door. Maybe you've run over a trash can on the side of the streat. Maybe you've started to leave your garage before the door's gone up or you've even run into another car in the driveway.
Paulie Harraka had one of those moments Sunday. It's just that his came on pit road before officially making the first Sprint Cup Series start of his career.
Harraka, making his 16th NASCAR series start, was set to start 40th on Sunday at Sonoma, just behind Alex Kennedy, who was also making his first Cup Series start. As the field made its way off of pit road to start the pace laps before the race, David Reutimann slowed to a stop in front of Kennedy. So Kennedy did the same.
Harraka didn't until it was too late and attempted to swerve to the left. That too, was futile, and he plowed into the back of Kennedy, bashing in the front of his car and damaging the rear of Kennedy's.
Both cars immediately returned to pit road for repairs, and Harraka was forced to start the race without much of the front of his car because of the severity of the damage. Bizarrely, they weren't the only two drivers with issues before the race even started. Jacques Villeneuve spent extended time on pit road with a transmission issue and Bobby Labonte had to go to the garage before he even took to the track after his car leaked oil on pit road.
And if the incident on pit road wasn't bad enough, Harraka had an issue between turns one and two on lap 7 and brought out the first caution of the day. He ended up completing 89 laps and finished 39th.