Published On: Fri, Aug 19th, 2016

Driver Bryan Clauson dies at 27 after crash in midget race

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Michael Hickey-US PRESSWIRE

Race car driver Bryan Clauson has died from injuries sustained in a crash in a midget race Saturday, the IndyCar Series announced. He was 27.

Clauson was airlifted to hospital in Lincoln, Neb., after the accident at the Belleville Nationals in Kansas. He was pronounced dead late Sunday night.

The Clauson family released the following statement, according to ESPN:

Last night, the 7th of August, we said goodbye to our son, my fiance, our friend, Bryan Clauson. He was surrounded by family and friends and we were grateful that we could experience his final moments with him.

Our Bryan fought to the end with the same desire that he demonstrated behind the wheel of all the various race cars he would park in victory lane. However, we were more proud of our Bryan that took a moment to make a young fan’s day, or demonstrated his uncommon kindness and appreciation toward his friends, family and fans.

Considered one of the top short-track drivers in the U.S., Clauson made 26 starts in NASCAR’s XFinity series, and also raced in three Indianapolis 500 races. He was a four-time United States Auto Club (USAC) national champion.

“This is truly one of the darkest days of the 60-year history of the USAC,” president Kevin Miller said.

Video footage of the crash shows Clauson’s car flipping and being struck by another car once it landed.

Mark Miles, CEO of the parent company that owns IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway, said the following in a statement:

This is certainly a sad day for the racing community as a whole, and on behalf of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, we send our deepest condolences to the family of Bryan Clauson. Anybody who witnessed Bryan behind the wheel of a race car can attest to his elite ability, relentlessness and unbridled willingness to race anything on wheels. While he’ll be remembered most as a legend of short-track racing, his participation in the Indianapolis 500 exemplifies his fearlessness, true versatility as a competitor and the pure depth of his talent as a driver.

Clauson raced for NASCAR vehicles owned by Tony Stewart, and Stewart called the death “a tragedy.”

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