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Driving Blind: Ronnie Presnell’s Lap At Charlotte Motor Speedway

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Ronnie Presnell crossed an item off his bucket list today at Charlotte Motor Speedway as the retired Mecklenburg County sheriff’s deputy, who lost his sight in 1998, took a spin around the legendary superspeedway in his restored 1968 Chevrolet Camaro with help from NASCAR driver and SPEED personality Kenny Wallace. (credit: Harold Hinson Photography)

Ronnie Presnell crossed an item off his bucket list today at Charlotte Motor Speedway as the retired Mecklenburg County sheriff’s deputy, who lost his sight in 1998, took a spin around the legendary superspeedway in his restored 1968 Chevrolet Camaro with help from NASCAR driver and SPEED personality Kenny Wallace. (credit: Harold Hinson Photography)

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  autos arrows plug v2 Driving Blind: Ronnie Presnells Lap At Charlotte Motor Speedway

CONCORD, N.C. (CBS Charlotte) – Many imagine tearing around Charlotte Motor Speedway in a ’68 Camaro. Ronnie Presnell, a blind man, actually did it from behind the wheel Wednesday.

Riding shotgun, NASCAR driver and SPEED personality Kenny Wallace gave vocal cues to Presnell, who drove the track cleanly. It was Wallace who nearly needed a pit stop.

“I thought at one point we were going to have to come into the pits to make some adjustments on Kenny,” Presnell said. “A few times during the ride he kept saying, ‘My heart’s skipping a beat.’ I was worried.”

The lap marked the first time Presnell drove since a 1998 car crash that left him sightless and had him require extensive reconstructive surgery. The then-beat-up Camaro was a project that kept him busy afterward. Over time, he restored it with his hands, but without his eyes.

Presnell and Wallace brought the Camaro around the banking between 20 and 25 miles per hour — a far cry from a record lap at Charlotte, which hosts the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 15.

Wallace said it was unforgettable anyway.

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