Texas Governor Perry Congratulates NASCAR’s Youngest 2011 State Champion
Texas Governor Rick Perry welcomed NASCAR’s youngest state champion of 2011 to the Texas State Capitol in Austin on Tuesday, May 1.
Zachary “Zak” Hausler, now 17, of Tomball, Texas is one of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series most decorated champions of 2011. At 16 he won NASCAR’s Texas state championship, state Rookie of the Year Award, and the track championships and top rookie awards at Houston Motorsports Park and Thunderhill Raceway in Kyle.
“This was really cool for us,” Hausler said. “Talking with Gov. Perry felt like I was talking to an old friend.
“He congratulated us, then we talked about politics, NASCAR racing and about my own racing past, present and future,” Hausler said.
“He knew all about NASCAR, the Labontes, and he’s familiar with the kind of short track racing we do.”
Texas natives Terry and Bobby Labonte each won NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships.
“Gov. Perry handed his cell phone to an aid who took a picture of the two of us. It was posted on the governor’s Twitter feed right away.
“This was such an honor for dad (Larry) and me. It was a cool experience. It’s amazing what NASCAR does for its champions.
“We went racing last year just to try to win some races. We never expected to be so successful and be treated this way.”
Hausler’s 2011 racing record in the pavement Modified division at the two tracks was 14 wins, 22 top-fives and 24 top-10s in 26 starts.
The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is NASCAR’s national championship program for weekly short track auto racing. The series encompasses more than 50 speedways across the United States and Canada.