Paralyzed driver aims for Indy 500 - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Paralyzed driver aims for Indy 500

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INDIANAPOLIS -

The Indy 500 is all about pushing the boundaries with technology and driving talent.

Thursday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Road to Indy program gave future drivers a test ride.

Michael Johnson, 20, climbed out of his wheelchair and went to work. He had the fastest practice lap this morning.

Johnson is paralyzed from the waist down from a Motocross crash when he was 12. But he's still chasing his dream.

"My dream is to run in the Indy 500 and run IndyCar the full season and win it. I've got a good chance this year. I've been working really hard. My inspiration is just to win and have something to work towards," he said.

Johnson operates the brake by pushing in the steering wheel.

"That actuates the brakes. The throttle is a paddle on the left side of my steering wheel. The clutch is a level by my left leg and I push it with my left hand. I only need to use the clutch to stop and go. Then the shift levers are just like anybody else would shift," he explained.

Johnson isn't worried about any obstacles. His dream to race and win the Indy 500 has been a goal since he became paralyzed.

"When I was a kid my dream was to go road racing and MotoGP, something similar to that when I was racing bikes, so now it's IndyCar."

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