The racing world is mourning the death of sprint car prodigy, Bryan Clauson, who died Sunday Aug. 8th, following injuries sustained in a hard crash at Saturday night’s Belleville Midget Nationals in Kansas. He was just 27 years old. What a heartbreaking tragedy…
Bryan was an outstanding racer who was the youngest driver in USAC history to win a national feature event when he was just 16. His accomplishments didn’t stop there. In 2006, he recorded an incredible USAC Sprint/Midget doubleheader “sweep” at the Salem Speedway, in Indiana, where he won both the 30-lap Midget race and 50-lap Sprint race making him the 24th person to do so. All that and he was just 17 years-old!
“This is truly one of the darkest days in the 60-year history of the United States Auto Club,” USAC CEO Kevin Miller said. “Not only have we lost one of our greatest USAC champions, we’ve lost a true ambassador for all of motor sports.”
Bryan followed in his father’s footsteps. Tim Clauson, was a sprint car racer in Northern California, and encouraged Bryan to join the sport of racing. Bryan started out small, starting in go kart races, and he soon dominated that around the age of 8 by winning races left and right. It was in his blood to be a racer!
Clauson was best known for his talent in the dirt racing world. He was a respected driver who racked up wins at an impressive pace. He ran in three Indianapolis 500 races – including this May for the 100th running, where he finished 23rd and led three laps – and had a brief NASCAR Xfinity Seriescareer.
Just after taking the lead on Saturday night, Clauson climbed a guard rail between Turns 3 and 4 and flipped “heavily” before being struck by a car driven by Ryan Greth, according to USAC’s Twitter account. The race continued after a red flag period and was won by Chad Boat.
A Northern California native, Clauson had another horrible crash the night before at the same track.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Clauson family. Bryan is survived by his parents, Tim and Diana, sister Taylor and his fiancée, Lauren Stewart. A fund has been set up to help the family during this difficult time.