Paralyzed race car driver Sam Schmidt gets back behind the wheel on 'TODAY'

Indy Racing League driver Sam Schmidt prepares to drive his modified Corvette on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
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NEW YORK (WTHR) — Nineteen years are a crash paralyzed him from the neck down, former race car drive Sam Schmidt is back behind the wheel.

Schmidt took NBC's Harry Smith for a ride around New York City is a specially outfitted 650 horsepower Corvette.

Schmidt said for the first time in 19 years, he felt normal. The car has technology that reads the sensors in Schmidt's sunglasses, making the car turn whatever direction he looks.

"I'm controlling the gas, I'm controlling the steering wheel, I'm completely independent when I'm driving this car," Schmidt said.

A tube in his mouth controlled the speed and braking.

While he can no longer drive, Schmidt is still very involved with IndyCar. He owns and runs Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with former driver Ric Peterson. He also has a foundation called Conquer Paralysis Now, which aims to find the cure to paralysis.

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