Michael Johnson, paralyzed since 12, co-drives to win in sports-car race

Michael Johnson, paralyzed from the waist down since a motorcycle accident at age 12, co-drove to a win in a sports-car race Saturday at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut.

Johnson, 25, started the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race Saturday and then handed off to teammate Stephen Simpson, who made a last-lap pass for the win in their class.

Johnson, who was out for four months after breaking his right leg in a crash in testing at Daytona in January, uses hand controls when he drives the car, while Simpson uses the traditional foot controls in the JDC-Miller Motorsports car.

"I have been thinking about this win, coming in professional car racing since I broke my back," Johnson said. "This is all the hard work over the years coming together, and everyone gets to see that. It makes me so proud that I can prove to everyone that I'm the same as everyone else and that I deserve to be here and I love to be here.

"I'm so proud, all the talking and now showing people that I can finally get them real results. It clearly shows that it can be done, and I am so proud that I can show other people, and talk to them, that dreams can come true with lots of hard work."