Bryan Clauson, a prolific sprint car driver with multiple wins at the Jacksonville Speedway, had his life cut short after injuries suffered from a crash at the Belleville Midget Nationals in Kansas.
According to multiple media outlets, Clauson’s car went over a guard rail, flipped several times and was struck by a fellow driver.
Clauson was transported to Bryan Medical Center in Lincoln, Nebraska on Saturday. He died the next day at the age of 27.
Jacksonville Speedway Promoter Kenny Dobson called Clauson “one of the great sprint car drivers in the history of the sport.”
“We were fortunate here in Jacksonville to be kind of close with Bryan. Lauren Stewart, from Jacksonville, was Bryan’s fiance. She is the daughter of Kim and Greg Stewart. I can remember when Bryan would win in Jacksonville the whole Stewart family would be there. There would be a family-thing in the winner’s circle in Jacksonville It was a really neat deal,” says Dobson.
Dobson says Clauson was involved in some thrilling races in Jacksonville.
“Bryan won his first sprint car race in one of the greatest races in Jacksonville. It was probably the closest finish ever between him and NASCAR Driver Christopher Bell in 2013. We have a lot of great memories at the Jacksonville Speedway when Bryan was around. Pretty much when Bryan showed up he was either going to win it or have potential to win it, because he was that good,” says Dobson.
Dobson says Clauson was a role model for fans and drivers across the nation.
“Bryan was one of those guys that not only was a tremendous race car driver, but he was the nicest guy to be around. He was friends with the whole racing community, drivers looked up to him for his talents and were great friends with him. He was always smiling and an asset to the sport and would go out of his way to sign autographs and hug kids. He will be sorely missed by the sport.”
Clauson, who was attempting to make history in 2016 by competing in 200 races in a single year, achieved a tremendous amount of accolades in his short career.
Clauson raced in the Indianapolis 500 three times, won multiple USAC National Sprint Car titles and was the 2014 Chili Bowl Champion, a race nicknamed “The Super Bowl of Midget Racing.”
Dobson says the Jacksonville Speedway plans to honor Clauson with a special event later this year.