Paraplegic sprint car driver feels at home in Amarillo

Paraplegic sprint car driver feels at home in Amarillo
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

Kaden Taylor had been racing a modified race car since age 16, but an unexpected twist of fate shook up his racing career.

"When I was a senior in high school in 2008, I was in just a regular car accident, and that's why I'm in a wheelchair."

Paralyzed from the waist down, some people might have given up on their racing dreams- but not him.

"I ended up sitting out a year, and we were trying to figure out how to get me back into a modified," said Taylor. "But you sit down so low in them that it was gonna be really hard to get me in and out. So we had a buddy that was driving sprint cars and he was like, why don't we get him into a sprint car?".

Taylor's friends and family rallied around him to get him back into racing, and it hasn't always been easy. But he didn't let the wreck that permanently injured him affect his mindset on the track.

"I've wrecked a lot worse racing these than what that wreck was that put me in a wheelchair," he explained, pointing to his sprint car.

A native of the Oklahoma panhandle, he always had to travel a few hours to race- but a special night in Amarillo has always stood out.

"This is actually the place I got my motivation back," admitted Taylor. "Because I came off those two years that were really bad, but the first year I came back here like two years ago, it seemed like every time I was on the track I was good."

Route 66 Motor Speedway ended up being the place where he got his first sprint car win.

"Last year I finally broke through, I'd lead races here and then lost them late because the cars wouldn't fall my way, so until I saw that checkered flag coming off turn four here last year, I wasn't convinced that I was gonna win the race," he admitted.

But he did- and he's proud of how his experience has given him perspective on both life and racing.

"My wreck changed my life because it put me in a wheelchair, but I've also gotten to experience a lot of incredible things. So you just gotta keep pushing forward," said Taylor.

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