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Richie Parker      

Motivational Speaker; NASCAR Engineer Born Without Arms

Richie Parker was born with amelia, an extremely rare birth defect that prohibits the growth of arms and/or legs; but he never let that keep him from pursuing his dreams. Parker defied all odds to become a NASCAR Engineering Manager for Hendrick Motorsport.

With the support of his parents and with his relationship with God, Parker was able to excel in life despite his condition. His parents made sure he lived a life just like other kids his age. He learned to write with his feet when they were learning to write with their hands. And when his friends started riding bikes, his dad modified a bike for him to ride right along with them. ​ As a teenager, Parker took an interest in his dad’s hobby of working on cars. His dad would often let him jump in on projects, which sparked in Parker a passion for engineering that has carried him to the auto racing world.

Parker is a 2009 graduate of Clemson University, and he first connected with Hendrick Motorsports through an internship in 2005. Parker applied for the position through NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program, and that 10-week internship turned into a relationship that landed him a full-time job with Hendrick.

True to his nature, Parker didn’t stop there. After 12 years at Hendrick Motorsports, he returned to Clemson to pursue a master’s degree in business administration in entrepreneurship. He graduated in 2017 and is now the cofounder of Optimech Solutions, a company that offers mechanical engineering services to other organizations, as well as being rehired and promoted to Engineering Manager for Hendrick.

Parker has always been a fan of cars, and he spends time refurbishing old cars and adapting the ones he really likes with foot steering mechanisms.

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