Accessible NASCAR Racing for People with Disabilities and Veterans
Published : 2011-07-06 - Updated : 2018-03-28
Author : Thomas C. Weiss - Contact: disabled-world.com
Synopsis* : Accessible Racing focuses on amateur automobile racing through modified accessible racing vehicles for use by people with disabilities at no cost.
Accessible Racing has a NASCAR-style car that has competed in the past in the national touring series.
The VXP virtual driving station is a specialized module with hand controls powered by the popular iRacing software.
Until now, all driving/racing simulators have required the use of a steering wheel and pedals to operate. VXP uses a force-feedback steering wheel equipped with hand controls, enabling persons who do not have the use of their legs to compete in a virtual race car against thousand of other racers from all over the world.
Accessible Racing (www.accessibleracing.com) is a 501 (c)(3) corporation that is organized to develop, promote, and regulate amateur automobile racing through the provision of modified accessible racing vehicles for use by people with disabilities at no cost.
The corporation serves people with disabilities and persons with developmental challenges by giving them access to dual-controlled and modified racing cars. Accessible Racing is here at the right time, doing the right thing, and for the right reason.
Accessible Racing - VXP Driving Simulator
One of the services Accessible Racing offers is in conjunction with iRacing.com
They are conducting and measuring the visible therapeutic benefits of the VXP diving simulator that is powered by iRacing.com, something which creates access to racing for people with disabilities located anywhere in the world.
People can log onto the Internet through the VXP driving simulator and compete with one-another in the most realistic racing environment created to date.
The best benefit of using the VXP simulator is that it demonstrates how to use adaptive equipment in real time.
What this does is give the driver the experience they are going to need in order to drive a car in real life.
Through the VXP driving simulator and Bumble Bee Camaro, the virtual world is transformed into real-world experience.
Accessible Racing stock car driving for people with disabilities is a seamless transition from competition with the VXP driving simulator.
Accessible Racing and NASCAR
Accessible Racing has a NASCAR-style car that has competed in the past in the national touring series.
It has been fitted with dual brakes, dual steering wheels, as well as dual gas peddles for the instructor on the passenger side of the car. The car has a removable door on the driver's side and a, 'Lajoie,' seat that swivels to make transferring easier. Every single bit of the speed, sound, and excitement is exactly the same.
NASCAR drivers Carl Edwards, Joey Pole, and Bobby Labonte are involved with Accessible Racing - making for a dream come true for people with disabilities who become involved as well.
The company has had people who are legally blind, people who are amputees, as well as people with paraplegia and quadriplegia as guests.
Veterans of the armed forces are also involved with Accessible Racing, such as Lt. Ian Brown, Retired USAF.
Accessible Racing Events
Accessible Racing has a number of events people with disabilities and others can participate in. These events include the:
- Bronze Autocross Ride Along,
- The Silver Autocross Driving Experience,
- The Gold On Track Driving Experience,
- The, 'Magic in the Mountains Disabled Driving Experience.'
The Bronze Autocross Ride Along
The Bronze Autocross Ride Along is a novice-level introduction to motor sports. It combines a number of things such as:
- Car control instruction
- Track layout instruction
- Classroom, 'Chalk Talk'
'Chalk Talk involves an explanation of track action from not only the inside of the car, but the outside too. The explanation is presented from the perspective of a passenger next to one of Accessible Racing's professional instructors for one session. The entry-level course is free and is designed to promote the interest of not only drivers, but the media and collaborative partners.
The Silver Autocross Driving Experience
The Silver Autocross Driving Experience involves novice-level drivers. The drivers learn the art of driving through application of classroom knowledge to driving while under the close supervision of an experienced driving instructor who is in the passenger seat. The instructor evaluates the driver's baseline driving skills to include:
- Over steering
- Under steering
- Threshold braking
- Steering with the throttle
- The differences between early and late apex of cornering
The basic building blocks of driving are essential to gaining car control skills which will prepare drivers for avoiding accidents and maneuvering in real-world driving.
The Gold On Track Driving Experience
The Gold On Track Driving Experience emphasizes the relationship between the driver and the car. It gives the driver the chance to learn their limitations while expanding their capabilities in needed areas.
The experience provides the driver with the opportunity to develop safe driving habits and skills while in a controlled environment and with the assistance of a professional instructor. Instruction on driving style includes an emphasis on:
- Ability to, 'read,' the track
- Ability to consistently drive the correct line
These abilities are essential elements to the development of the art of high-speed driving. Accessible Racing assists drivers with disabilities and veterans to achieve these skills and abilities, helping drivers to enjoy the sport of racing.
Magic in the Mountains Disabled Driving Experience
The Magic in the Mountains Disabled Driving Experience gives injured soldiers and others the opportunity to learn the art of driving through application of classroom knowledge while driving under the supervision of an experienced instructor.
Magic in the Mountains held an event in Lincoln, NH on June 26th of this year. Along with New England Sports, White Mountain Motorsports, and Loon Mountain, the event was held in the Lincoln-Woodstock area of New Hampshire.
The event gave veterans who are newly-injured, as well as active athletes with disabilities, the chance to learn defensive driving skills as they experienced the world's only, 'Arrive & Drive,' stock car driving for people with physical disabilities. The event was held at the White Mountain Motorsports Park.
Loon Mountain, located in Lincoln New Hampshire, hosted the first driving skills school where students with disabilities learned the art of driving. The instructor evaluated their baseline driving skills from the passenger seat.
The drivers then went to White Mountain Motorsports Park, where they drove the oval track under the lights, learning their limitations and expanding their capabilities while learning safe driving skills and habits.
During the Magic on the Mountain event, Accessible Racing also demonstrated their new VXP driving simulator and the iRacing.com software that accompanies it.
New England Disabled Sports ran the event out of their new facility at Loon Mountain. People participating in the event also had the chance to try out a new fleet of hand-cycles, Terra Trek hiking wheelchairs, and recumbent bicycles.
Accessible Racing Requirements and Information
Accessible Racing does provide a level of financial assistance to people with disabilities and veterans.
When it comes to the question of what to wear to an Accessible Racing event, the helmets, clothing and fire suits are all provided by Hanaford Associates.
Participants are to wear closed-laced toe shoes; there are no high heels allowed.
Participants should also wear comfortable clothes that can be worn under a fire suit.
An online, subscription-based racing simulation service for Microsoft Windows, Linux and OS X created by iRacing.com Motor-sport Simulations.
In addition to accurately modeled vehicles and tracks, iRacing provides servers on which to race and practice and a sanctioning body to organize and oversee competition within the service.
iRacing.com was launched to the public on August 26, 2008. By July 2009 more than 16,000 individuals had subscribed to the service.
iRacing.com has received favorable reviews from automobile, racing and gaming magazines as well as websites dedicated to racing simulators.
About the Author
Thomas C. Weiss attended college and university courses earning a Masters, Bachelors and two Associate degrees, as well as pursing Disability Studies. As a Nursing Assistant Thomas has assisted people from a variety of racial, religious, gender, class, and age groups by providing care for people with all forms of disabilities from Multiple Sclerosis to Parkinson's; para and quadriplegia to Spina Bifida.
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Journal: Disabled World. Language: English (U.S.). Author: Thomas C. Weiss. Electronic Publication Date: 2011-07-06 - Revised: 2018-03-28. Title: Accessible NASCAR Racing for People with Disabilities and Veterans, Source: <a href=https://www.disabled-world.com/sports/accessible-racing.php>Accessible NASCAR Racing for People with Disabilities and Veterans</a>. Retrieved 2021-04-18, from https://www.disabled-world.com/sports/accessible-racing.php - Reference: DW#31-8128.