Sam Schmidt was an up-and-coming star in IndyCar in the late 90's before a crash that rendered him a quadriplegic, but he's never lost touch with the sport: he's now a team owner, as well as the founder of the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation.
Sunday, he debuted a major technological advancement: Schmidt can't move his feet or arms, but he's had a car fitted with a system that allows him to drive using head movements. He took it for a ceremonial qualifying lap at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday:
Not only did he take her for a lap, he hauled, too:
Sam Schmidt reaches 97 mph in a Corvette @IMS. He's quadriplegic. The world is an amazing place.— Mike Kitchel (@mikekitchel) May 18, 2014
The car is called the SAM Project -- in honor of Schmidt, obviously, but also it stands for "semi-autonomous motorcar" -- and the hope is that similar technology can help improve the quality of life for those living with paralysis like Schmidt. You can read about the technology -- and Schmidt's story -- in this Indianapolis Star piece.