USAC Midget: Bryan Clauson passes away
Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR
By AMANDA VINCENT
Race car driver Bryan Clauson passed away Sunday night at the age of 27 as a result of injuries sustained Saturday night in the Belleville Midget Nationals in Belleville, Kan. Clauson’s fiance, Lauren Stewart, and his family released a statement Monday morning that read:
“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.
“We would like to thannk everybody who has shown their concern toward us and kept us in their prayers. We will never be able to truly thank you. We would also like to thank the staff at Bryan Medical Center who stood and fought with our Bryan since he arrived here early yesterday morning.”
Clauson’s car flipped and was hit in the cage by another car. Safety personnel spent nearly half an hour getting Clauson out of the car. Then, he was airlifted to Bryan Medical Center in Lincoln, Neb. Clauson was listed in critical condition throughout much of the day Sunday.
Clauson made 26 starts in the series now known as the NASCAR Xfinity Series and also made three attempts to qualify for Sprint Cup Series races. In addition, he competed in the Indianapolis 500 Verizon IndyCar races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, most recently this year’s race in May.
“NASCAR extends its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Bryan Clauson, a passionate competitor whose love for racing fueled his unmatched positive spirit. He was a dear friend to many in the racing comunity, and he was loved and respected by all who knew him. He touched the lives of so many in our motorsports family, and his warm presence and relentless enthusiasm will be missed,” NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O’Donnell said in a statement released by the stock car sanctioning body.
Clauson has plans to compete in 200 races of various kinds, including winged sprint cars, non-winged sprints, midgets and Silver Crown races. Saturday’s race was his 116th of the year. In those 116 races, he scored 27 wins, most recently winning in Beloit, Kan., on Wednesday.
Clauson was the 2013 USAC National Sprint Car champion, claiming that title from behind the wheel of a Tony Stewart co-owned entry.