Photo Credit: eldoraspeedway.com
Bryan Clauson, who was one of the world’s most versatile racing drivers, has passed away at the age of 27 after sustaining injuries in a hard crash in Saturday night’s Belleville Midget Nationals in Kansas.
Clauson’s car made contact with the wall and was flipping across the track before being hit by an oncoming car driven by Ryan Greth. He was then extracted from the car and airlifted to Bryan Medical Center West in Lincoln, Nebraska following the accident. He was listed as being in critical condition before his death late last night.
The race during which he suffered his fatal injuries was Clauson’s 116th of the year, including the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. He was attempting to complete a total of 200 races over the course of the 2016 calendar, and it was being called “The Chasing 200 Tour, Circular Insanity”. He had won 27 of his 116 races so far this year.
Clauson, who was from Carmichael, California, made 3 starts in the Indianapolis 500 in 2012 for Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, and in 2015 and 2016 for Jonathan Byrd’s racing. This year was the first year in which he finished the Indianapolis 500. After qualifying a career-high 28th and leading 3 laps, Clauson finished a career-high 23rd in the race.
Clauson also drove a total of 8 races in the Indy Lights series over the course of the 2011 and 2012 seasons for Sam Schmidt Motorsports in 2011 and Fan Forced United in 2012. His career-high finish in the Indy Lights season was a 3rd place finish at Iowa Speedway in 2011.
Clauson also made 25 starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series over the 2007 and 2008 seasons. His career high finish in that series was 5th place, which was at Kentucky Speedway in 2008 when he drove for Chip Ganassi Racing.
Clauson will leave behind him a racing legacy that includes two USAC national sprint car championships and two USAC national midget car championships. He also won the Chili Bowl in 2014 to go along with more than 170 other feature wins in his racing career, which ended way too abruptly and far too soon.