Quadriplegic Marc Buoniconti Set to Drive Dixie Vodka 400 Parade Laps in Adapted NASCAR Cup Series Car
FOUNTAIN, Colo., March 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — NASCAR’s March 22 Dixie Vodka 400 Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway will showcase the Falci Adaptive Motorsports vehicle piloted by The Miami Project’s President and quadriplegic, Marc Buoniconti. The former Furniture Row NASCAR Cup car will participate in the ceremonial parade laps prior to the race’s start. Paraplegic driver Rob “Chairslayer” Parsons will ride along to coach Buoniconti if needed.
The car’s technology allows the passenger seat occupant to drive by braking and accelerating with the push and pull of their breath, while turning the vehicle is managed by the movement of their head. In the conventional driver’s seat, a driver can drive with normal steering mechanisms or hand controls.
“This is a tremendous initiative being undertaken by Joe Garone and the Falci team,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Al Garcia. “Through the outstanding efforts of Marc Buoniconti and his late father, Nick, the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis has done unbelievable work, not just here in Miami where it all started, but nationally and internationally as well. We are honored to host this landmark event during NASCAR’s Dixie Vodka 400 race weekend and are excited to see the future of the adaptive vehicle and how it will benefit many people.”
On the Thursday prior to Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race, Falci Adaptive Motorsports and Pikes Peak International Raceway staff, led by current PPIR COO Joe Garone, will be onsite at Homestead-Miami Speedway executing another adaptive experience. The events give mobility challenged individuals the freedom to drive an 850-horsepower Cup car hands-and foot-free.
Thursday’s event will be split into two portions. The first will provide guests a ride along experience at full speed with NASCAR driver Ross Chastain. In the second portion, Parsons will take the NASCAR driver’s seat and coach the guests as they each take to the track and enjoy the freedom of driving for themselves.
“As anyone who knows me will attest, I have always been an avid race fan,” said Buoniconti. “If it moves, especially if it moves fast, I want to watch it or be riding in it. When Falci Motorsports asked me to participate in this wonderful program, I naturally jumped at the chance to be a part of this event. Driving this adaptive car, particularly on my hometown track at Homestead-Miami Speedway, is a thrill of a lifetime. This demonstration will go a long way to prove to the world that adaptive driving and motorsports has the potential to be not only possible, but competitive.”
Parsons will also be competing in this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the country’s second-oldest automobile race next to the Indianapolis 500, also in an adaptive NASCAR Cup Series car.
In 2014, Dr. Scott Falci introduced the Falci adaptive technology to Furniture Row Racing, who agreed to help with his venture into NASCAR. Along with DireenTech, Dr. Falci continues to develop the adaptive technology in the vehicle to further aid the mobility challenged community. This includes working with Princeton University’s engineering department to develop a brain interface that will allow the systems to be activated with thoughts alone.
The Dixie Vodka 400 will air live on FOX March 22 at 2 p.m. ET. Tickets for the Dixie Vodka 400 NASCAR weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway are now available and can be purchased by calling (866) 409-RACE (7223) or visiting HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com.
Media Contact 1: Chelsy Offutt
Director of Communications
Falci Adaptive Motorsports/Pikes Peak International Raceway
719.382.7223 x 119
Media Contact 2: Neal Gulkis
Senior Director, Communications & Marketing
o. 305.230.5233 | c. 305.224.3189
SOURCE Falci Adaptive Motorsports
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