A quadriplegic former Indy driver has returned to the driver's seat.
For former champion Indy racing driver Sam Schmidt, life took a dramatic turn back in 2001. A serious crash at 210 mph resulted in him becoming a quadriplegic. Frankly, it's amazing he survived at all and, better yet, he's living out his driving passion today. Jay Leno recently caught up with Schmidt and his heavily customized Chevrolet Corvette Z06 to experience first-hand how this former pro driver is still doing his thing.
Because of his condition, Schmidt obviously can't drive a car like the rest of us, but aided with some of the latest technologies and the first semi-autonomous driver's license issued in the country, he's driving once again.
Of course a C6 Corvette Z06 was chosen for this task. Schmidt's a car guy and speed and performance are in his blood. Because he's paralyzed from the neck down, Schmidt drives the Z06 via headgear. That's right. Headgear. Combined with a car decked with $1 million worth of electronics and sensors, Schmidt can drive and steer the car – by blowing through a tube. This isn't parking lot driving. Burning rubber is more accurate.