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Paraplegic driver set to race Chili Bowl | Fast Lane

Waynesboro's Darren Kauffman will race a midget for the first time at the 36th Chili Bowl Nationals.

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — The 36th Chili Bowl Nationals is now just a week away. There's one Central Pa driver whose made a vacation at the last half a dozen chili bowls and will now get to race it, for the very first time.

He's just a kid from Waynesboro. Darren Kauffman has dreamed about racing a midget at the Chili Bowl but never thought it would ever happen. But, one conversation lead to another with friends he made at the Chili Bowl. By the end of the night, they made a list of everything they had. The only thing missing, a car and a motor. 

Months went by, Darren didn't think much about it since until the summer. When he received a call and the same conversation fired back up again. A few weeks later, Darren had his first Chili Bowl ride. His car is structured a little different. Darren is a paraplegic and instead of using pedals, he uses hand controls.

“Take the pedals out. As far as the steering wheel goes, the throttle is on the right and the brake is on the left. Basically, the only thing that changes. Instead of running the lines to the pedals, it’s to the steering wheel," said Kauffman.

It was hard for Darren to keep it w secret. Finally, around the time of the National Open, he couldn't hold back his excitement, anymore. They did three separate testing sessions so Darren, who has never raced a midget, was able to get familiar with the car. Even though he practiced with a wheel he built, he’ll be using another paraplegic driver, Isaac Schreurs' wheel that’s a little smaller than his and will fit a lot better in the midget. That wheel is the same wheel Isaac used at the Chili Bowl, a few years ago.

 “Not that it wasn’t ever a dream of mine, it just seemed so far fetch. That didn’t seem like that was ever going to be possible, for me,' said Kauffman. "Comes down to the guys that have all pitched in to make this happen. They’re something else.”

Kauffman will race at the Chili Bowl starting January 11th as #7DK as he will kick off his rookie campaign in Tulsa.

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Tulsa Shootout: Plenty of drivers representing PA at the Tulsa Shootout to kick off 2022. Results how the drivers from Pennsylvania fared in the A-Mains below. Alex Bright and Thomas Kunsman were two of four drivers to qualify for all-four features.

NON-WINGED OUTLAW

4. THOMAS KUNSMAN (17TH)

5. GAVIN MILLER

7. ALEX BRIGHT (21ST)

19. JOEY AMANTEA

WINGED A-CLASS

4. ALEX BRIGHT

11. COLIN WHITE

13. THOMAS KUNSMAN

WINGED OUTLAWS

2. THOMAS KUNSMAN

15. ALEX BRIGHT

STOCK NON-WING

2. ALEX BRIGHT

5. THOMAS KUNSMAN (17TH)

7. PRESTON BROWN

17. COLIN WHITE

20. LOGAN RUMSEY

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