Noblesville teenager featured in Sports Illustrated - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Noblesville teenager featured in Sports Illustrated

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NOBLESVILLE, Ind. -

A 13-year-old Hoosier is making national headlines for his talent on the race track.

Chris Hacker of Noblesville is featured in the "College Football Preview" issue of Sports Illustrated magazine.

It may be a small article, but it's a sign of big things for this remarkable racer - a "Young Gun" from Noblesville, as the story calls him in Sports Illustrated.

"It's awesome," Hacker said. "One of my friends told me that it's one of the biggest sports magazines in the U.S. or the world or something like that and I got a big smile on my face when he told me that."

It has been a whirlwind few weeks for 13-year-old Chris Hacker - the kid who isn't even old enough to get a learners permit, the kid nicknamed "Smalls" at the track, the kid who drives a race car using only one arm.

"We just set the steering wheel over to the right so it's more in line with his right arm," said his dad, Mike Hacker.

"The injury doesn't slow him down at all," added Yvonne Hacker, Chris's mom.

Eyewitness News first introduced you to Chris before the Brickyard.

He has an injury called brachial plexus, suffered during childbirth.

The nerves and muscles in his left arm are very weak and severely limit his range of motion.

But that doesn't stop him.

He's earned more than 150 trophies and since our story aired, Chris's career is really revving up.

He became the youngest winner ever of a Champion Racing Association Late Model Sportsman Series race.

He's now the rookie points leader in that series.

His story is in Sports Illustrated.

Plus, the teen who drives a "24" car actually met his idol, NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

"He's staying really humble, which I'm thankful for. His dad and I on the other hand, our heads are spinning," Yvonne Hacker said.

Now Chris also is getting a few calls for sponsorship - offers for tires and fuel week to week, which are all needed in this expensive sport.

"On the hood we have MEP. Right here we have Motion Motors and right here we have PGG," Chris pointed out on his race car.

The Hackers hope to get more sponsors for next year's season, when the cost of racing, entry fees and maintenance will skyrocket to about $40,000.

But judging by just the past few weeks, this young racer is already on track to achieve his dream.

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