Bryan Clauson, considered the top dirt-track racer in the United States, died Aug. 7 of injuries suffered the day before in a crash at the Belleville, Kan., Midget Nationals USAC midget race. He was 27.
His family announced the death.
Mr. Clauson was leading the race on Aug. 6 when he crashed passing lapped traffic. His car rolled and was hit by another competitor. He was flown to a hospital in Nebraska, and died.
Mr. Clauson was on pace to compete in 200 races this year. He had 27 victories in 116 starts, and led three laps in the Indianapolis 500 in May.
A four-time U.S. Auto Club national champion, he was aiming to become the winningest driver in series history. He was a three-time winner and the defending champion at Belleville.
He was born in Sacramento on June 15, 1989, and he grew up in Noblesville, Ind. He earned a USAC-IndyCar scholarship for winning the 2010 USAC national driver’s title.
The scholarship earned Mr. Clauson six Indy Lights starts in 2011 in a car shared with current IndyCar Series rookie Conor Daly at Sam Schmidt Motorsports while Clauson continued to race in USAC’s national series. His best finish in eight career Indy Lights races was third at the Iowa Speedway in 2011.
Mr. Clauson won the scholarship award again in 2012, allowing him to make his Indianapolis 500 debut in 2012 with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing. Mr. Clauson returned to the Indy 500 in 2015 with KVSH/Jonathan Byrd’s Racing, then led his first career laps this last year driving for Dale Coyne.
Mr. Clauson was a development driver for Chip Ganassi in NASCAR, where he competed in 26 races over the 2007 and 2008 seasons. He also spent several seasons driving for Tony Stewart’s sprint car team.
Mr. Clauson had another crash during the weekend. After that crash on Aug. 5, he posted on Twitter his appreciation for his safety equipment, his chassis manufacturer and his team for getting his car ready for him to race the next evening.
Survivors include his fiancee, Lauren Stewart; his parents, Tim and Di Clauson; and a sister.
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