Paralyzed sprint car racer wins first feature thanks to help from Tony Stewart

Eric Saunders (Fox 28)
Eric Saunders (Fox 28)
Eric Saunders (Fox 28)

Eric Saunders celebrated a feature win in a sprint car at Plymouth Speedway in northern Indiana this past Saturday night. That’s not so unusual; hundreds of winners celebrate at small dirt tracks on any given night during the racing season all across America. There’s one difference for Saunders however: He didn’t stand in victory lane to celebrate, because he can’t. Saunders is paralyzed from the waist down. The young Lakeville Indiana resident was once a up and coming motocross star; he had 500 career wins and very bright future.

That all ended on August 29,2010 just before Eric’s 18th birthday. A mistake in a simple motocross practice session behind his home, changed his life forever. Saunders landed wrong and his family knew something terrible had happened. He was quickly taken to a hospital in Indianapolis and soon he and his family were given the news: Saunders was paralyzed from the waist down.

For Saunders and his family the news must have been devastating. After all racing was the only Eric Saunders knew. That dream now seemed gone. MORE>>>

Greg Engle
About Greg Engle 7421 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.