Drag Illustrated Issue 176, May / June 2022 - Page 22

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All week , the crew had to work around the wind and rain . Luckily , the major downpours just grazed the runway .

Finding Clarity at Over 200 MPH

Former Pro Mod wheelman Dan Parker becomes world ’ s fastest blind driver BY PHILLIP THOMAS

Life hands us unwelcome challenges for reasons we can ’ t explain , but few have faced steeper ones than Dan Parker , who lost his eyesight 10 years ago in a wildcard accident while testing at Alabama Dragway . Despite this , he has turned around every waking moment possible to achieve something few could imagine : on March 31 , he reset the world record for the fastest blind

driver with a two-way average of 211.043 – on the anniversary of the very day his life was forever changed .
Drag IllustrateD has spoken to Parker in the past about his plans to tackle the Guinness World Record for the fastest blind-folded driver , which was previously held at 200.51 mph by Mike Newman , who was also fully blind . The record ’ s technical claim , blindfolding , is done to
equalize the playing field here for varying levels of sight impairment , necessitating the visor in Parker ’ s case to be blacked out despite his total loss of vision . Still , the feat is no less impressive . The 200-mph club is a tough nut to crack in land speed racing for anyone , much less someone doing so without what many would consider a critically important human sense : the ability to see the road ahead .
PHOTOGRAPHS BY PHILLIP THOMAS
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