The Unstoppable Spirit of Richie Parker

Parker was born without arms and now makes a living designing cars for NASCAR.
2:30 | 07/31/13

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Transcript for The Unstoppable Spirit of Richie Parker
Finally tonight an unstoppable spirit, a man who is truly the engineer of his own success from learning how to brush his teeth to designing the fast oes cars on the planet despite a handicap he's had since birth. From our sister network espn, john donvan looks at how one man tougher than a turbo charged engine is america strong. Reporter: He's been going all his life, because he's figured out what a shoulder can do. What a foot can do. What a chin can do -- to get him on the road. And though he's a safe a driver as there is -- it's as if richie parker has never seen a stop sign. I don't know that there's a whole lot in life period that i could say that I can't do. Just things that I haven't done yet. Reporter: Like how he makes his living. An engineer designing high performance cars. The ideas that come from his head -- they play out at racing high speed on the nascar circuit. He's on the team at hendrick motor sports, the most winning designer in nascar. We sat down and he showed me how he works on the computer. How he does his design work. I write with my right hand, you might write with your left hand. He happens to write with his feet. Who would have guessed when he was born back in 1983 in beaufort south carolina, who could have guessed? You know he was the cutest little boy. Reporter: The doctor pulled his dad aside. He said the baby did not have arms. And I just was sort of dumbfounded, like, what do you mean? Reporter: It meant engineering solutions. As his mom said --. We wanted his childhood to be as close to any other child's childhood as possible, that has always been our attitude, we are going to make it work. Reporter: Where it turned out, richie himself was chief engineer. Watch richie the kid, back then, figure out how to open the refrigerator. Or, long before learning to drive, how to get going on a bike, that his dad rigged with extra long handle bars. Or, nowadays, how to have a meal using the classic handheld device, the spoon. So yeah, speed bumps sometimes but no stop signs. I had two parents from from day one tried to make it so my life was normal as possible, whatever normal is. Reporter: Well, really, this is better than normal. This is american strong. We can't wait to see what richie does next.

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