For the first time in 28 years, Darrell Gwynn took to a race track as a driver.
His time on Dover International Speedway was not in what was a once familiar dragster, but rather an adaptive Furniture Row car with an assist from Regan Smith.
Smith took the adaptive car onto the course and then turned control over to Gwynn.
Gwynn was able to drive for part of a lap for the first time in 28 years since an accident that almost claimed his life through a special straw provided by Falco Adaptive Motorsports (@FalciMotorsport). Using this special device, Gwynn was able to control the car by “sipping” and “puffing” on the straw.
“Without a steering wheel, it’s hard to keep it perfectly straight in the corners with just your head,” Gwynn told Smith after his laps at Dover. “Normally NASCAR drivers, they drive with their arms and their … eyes. Here, you have to drive with your head and your mouth.”
Gwynn was injured in an exhibition race at Santa Pod Raceway in England in 1990. Halfway through his run, his dragster turned abruptly left into a retaining wall at approximately 240 mph leaving him paralyzed and without his left arm.
Video of Gwynn and Smith at Dover was broadcast via Facebook Live.
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Scott Dixon was fastest on the second day of Indy 500 practice Thursday, turning a lap at 226.102 mph in his No. 9 Dallara-Honda at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Takuma Sato was second, followed by Marco Andretti, Conor Daly and rookie Alex Palou.
The rest of the top 10 were: Colton Herta, Charlie Kimball, James Hinchcliffe, Fernando Alonso and James Davison.
THURSDAY PRACTICE: Click here for Day 2 speeds at Indianapolis
COMBINED SPEEDS: Click here for the overall speeds from the first two days
The session had one incident as Alonso crashed with just less than an hour left in the session. The Arrow McLaren SP driver was optimistic that the car could be repaired without a backup.
Among the other notables on the speed chart Thursday: Ryan Hunter-Reay (11th); Tony Kanaan (14th); Helio Castroneves (16th); Josef Newgarden (18th); Graham Rahal (19th); Will Power (23rd); Alexander Rossi (26th) and defending race winner Simon Pagenaud (27th).
Felix Rosenqvist (24th) and rookie Dalton Kellett turned the most laps (141) around the 2.5-mile oval.
Teams mostly focused on race setup Thursday as they will receive 80 extra horsepower in the “Fast Friday” practice that will feature speeds above 230 mph for qualifying Saturday and Sunday.
The Indy 500 will take place Aug. 23; coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on NBC with the green flag at 2:30 p.m.
HOW TO WATCH THE INDY 500 ON NBC: Details for the Aug. 23 race
DAILY INDY 500 SCHEDULE: Click here for all on-track activity in August at Indy