Racecar Driver And Paraplegic Danny Pollock’s Biggest Obstacle
Editor’s Note: The impossible task of designing a set of hand controls that Pollock could use in a race was finally achieved. His car and his ability to be safe on the track had been certified and tested, and Pollock had competed. He’d learned how to overcome the physical challenges that he had and that many had believed would prevent him from continuing as a racecar driver. Pollock and his team of friends, drivers, mechanics and engineering students had helped him tremendously. He’d have the equipment and the opportunity to see that checkered flag at the finish line with no other cars around him. Today Danny Pollock is a man on a mission, a man with proven success and a trailblazer for individuals who drive racecars but who may have some type of physical limitation that may make that dream seem to be impossible. Part 5 of a 5 part series.
I know that going to the track and being at the track to compete is what I’m supposed to do. To be able to compete at a higher level and to prove that people with spinal cord injuries can be successful racecar drivers, I have to have sponsors. Then we can get the equipment we need to be extremely competitive and move up in class to become the best racecar driver that I can be. The real competitors have much better equipment than we do. The highly competitive USAC racers will run a new set of tires on their racecars at every race they attend. When the race is over, they’ll throw those tires that they’ve used for that race away and purchase a brand new set of tires for the next race.
However, our race team has to continue to run on worn out tires, until they’ve lost all of their tread and become a safety hazard. We’ve only bought five new tires for the racecar since 2003. We’ve had to run on used tires which aren’t as good and don’t allow us to be as fast as we can be at the racetrack. Right now our race team only has one sponsor, and that’s Prilosec. We only had enough money to run one race last season. We’d love if we could get enough sponsors to run 20 races here at our local track. Then I’d be ready to run as many races as possible. Finding sponsors in this economy hasn’t been easy–it is expensive. Right now I’m on the hunt for sponsors. I’ve proven I can drive competitively. We’ve proven we can adapt a Sprint car for a disabled person to drive. What we haven’t proved yet but truly want to prove is that we can win. To be able to win, we’ve got to have good sponsors.
My dream is to build a racing team and move up in class and some day be able to race in the Indianapolis 500. There’s never been an Indy car racer who was a paraplegic. I want to be the first. To get to that place, I have to prove myself in a Sprint car, move up in division to the Outlaw Modified Racing Series and let sponsors see how competitive we can be if we move up in class.
For more information on Danny Pollock and his racing, go to www.dannypollock.com.
About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com