Paralyzed IndyCar Driver Races Again

An IndyCar Driver who became paralyzed in 2000 is racing again. Sam Schmidt had dreamt to be an…
IndyCar Driver

An IndyCar Driver who became paralyzed in 2000 is racing again. Sam Schmidt had dreamt to be an IndyCar champion since he was five. He was able to achieve this great feat in 1999 after winning in a competition at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

However, after a few months, Schmidt had a crash during a practice lap in Orlando. This crash made him sustain an injury in his spinal cord. According to doctors, the IndyCar driver may be on a ventilator for long. In six weeks’ time, he was off the ventilator. However, he was paralyzed from the neck down his spine.

It was my passion my entire life and then this happens and it kind of turns things upside down.


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While he had lost hope of racing again, Schmidt set up Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. This team has won 12 IndyCar races. Schmidt still had the urge to race once again; this made him try out something new. He decided to build a race car that could be driven despite his disability.

Schmidt worked with engineers from Arrow Electronics, a tech company. The company was able to build the SAM Car, which means “semi-autonomous mobility.”

Schmidt said that the feeling he had was overwhelming. He felt normal like he was in control. He maintained that at that point in his life, he was literally out of control. He needed help for anything he wanted to do. However, the fact that he used the brake, steered the car, and went fast as possible was thrilling.

The most recent version of the SAM Car was launched on July 8. Schmidt steers the car through a racing hat and glasses that feature infrared sensors. He uses his breath to accelerate and apply brake, exhaling and inhaling via a pressure sensor.

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