Bryan Clauson, one of the most versatile – and successful – drivers in all forms of motorsports, died Sunday from injuries suffered in a crash at the Belleville Midget Nationals on the Belleville High Banks in Belleville, Kansas.
Video of the crash shows that Clauson was leading the race Saturday night when he encountered lapped traffic. Contact with a lapped car sent Clauson’s car into a series of flips, and just as he came to a stop, he was struck by an oncoming car.
He was transported to a local hospital, and died the next day. He was 27 years old.
Clauson, who primarily drove open-wheeled dirt cars, also raced in NASCAR. In 2007 and 2008, he ran a total of 26 Xfinity Series races, with a best finish of fifth at Kentucky Speedway. He also won an ARCA race at Gateway International in 2007. Clauson also drove in three Indianapolis 500s, and led three laps of this year’s 100th running of the race.
The Noblesville, Indiana, resident had won 27 races this season, the most recent coming last week in a midget race in Beloit, Kansas.
He was a two-time national champion of USAC’s Midget and Sprint Car divisions and was the 2014 Chili Bowl winner.
NASCAR issued the following statement on Clauson’s passing: “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 community, 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.”