Zach Stroupe is not afraid to get in a racecar. In fact, he got into one at the age of four.
â€œI wanted to do it after watching Dad,â€ he said.
Zach, who is now 11 years old, wants to be a racer when he grows up.
Already he has won roughly 140 trophies, all on display on the fireplace mantle and hearth of his home in Iron Station.
â€œMy favorite part of racing is winning,â€ he said.
Zach got his start racing in the Kid Kart division of the World Karting Association Circuit, where many Winston Cup drivers got their start. From there, he moved on to the Jr. Sportsman I Class.
He has a Bandolero car, which is for ages 8 and older. At age 12, he can move up to the Legend car. Zach is preparing for that switch soon, once October comes around and he has a birthday.
Zach has been cast for a part in the â€œ3: Dale Earnhardt Story,â€ the made-for-TV movie which is being filmed at the East Lincoln Motor Speedway.
He will play the part of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and will be driving a go-kart.
â€œI am a little excited,â€ he said.
Zach, who attends Lincoln Charter School, spends a great deal of time on the race track.
But school comes first, his mother, Camie, said.
â€œHe knows that if he does not keep his grades up then he does not get to race,â€ she said.
Homework time is right after school so that Zach and his father, Mike, can spend time preparing for the weekend races.
Zach does a minimum of four races a month. Once it is summertime, he is up to eight or 10 races a week.
â€œFor an 11-year-old, he has definitely built up a name for himself,â€ said his mother.
The Stroupe family is heavily involved in racing. Mike grew up around cars and taught Zach how to race.
â€œAfter I taught him he continued to want to do it,â€ Mike said.
Zachâ€™s father has been involved with racing for 10 years and has a shop at the back of their house.
â€œWe like to do all the maintenance and detailing on the cars ourselves,â€ he said. â€œThat way if something goes wrong it is my fault.â€
Even Zachâ€™s little brother, Nicholas, 8, has started racing.
Zach hopes to go to the Winston Cup someday.
Although he said it is hard to juggle his time between school, racing and soccer, he does what he needs to do.
After all, he got involved when he was just a little boy, and he does not want to quit now.
â€œI have been in it for a while,â€ he said.
Zach will be traveling to Concord and Florida this weekend to race. by Amy Wadsworth