Last year, paralyzed open-wheel racer Michael Johnson was the subject of a Jalopnik on DRIVE mini documentary. Now, Johnson being featured in Mazda's latest national ad campaign.

A former flat-track motorcycling champion, Johnson, now 20 years old, was paralyzed from the mid chest down after a crash during a race at the age of 12. Now, he races using hand controls in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, and climbing the Road to Indy ladder. His next goal is to reach Indy Lights, which would put him within striking distance of his dream of racing in the Indy 500.

Mazda, a major sponsor of the series, named Johnson as one of the “Game Changers” the company is featuring in a new national advertising and marketing campaign.


The campaign, running through 2013, features historical figures like Laird Hamilton and Dick Fosbury, who've "defied convention" and "changed the 'game' in which they 'played,'" according to a press release. As part of the campaign, Johnson will also appear in full-page print ads in Popular Mechanics, Esquire, Car & Driver and Road & Track.


Johnson, who races with JDC MotorSports, will race next on the streets of Toronto, Ontario on July 13th and 14th.