Bryan Clauson passed away Sunday night from injuries he suffered in a horrific crash during the Belleville Nationals midget race in Belleville, Kansas Saturday night. The family released a statement with the news early Monday morning:
“Last night, the 7th of August, we said goodbye to our son, my fiancé, our friend, Bryan Clauson. He was surrounded by family and friends and we were grateful that we could experience his final moments with him.
Our Bryan fought to the end with the same desire that he demonstrated behind the wheel of all the various race cars he would park in victory lane. However, we were more proud of our Bryan that took a moment to make a young fans day, or demonstrated his uncommon kindness and appreciation toward his friends, family and fans.
We would like to thank everybody who has shown their concern toward us and kept us in their prayers. We will never be able to truly thank you. We would also like to thank the staff at Bryan Medical Center who stood and fought with our Bryan since he arrived here early yesterday morning.
We know that our Bryan is also your Bryan and that you would like to participate in honoring him. A service will be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at a date and time to be announced soon. In lieu of flowers, or to make a donation, people may direct their contributions to the USAC Benevolent Fund website at //usacbf.org/cash-donation/ or checks should be made out to the USAC Benevolent Foundation in the name of Bryan Clauson. The address is 124 E Northfield Drive, Suite F #129, Brownsburg, IN 46112.
Thank you for being a part of our Bryan’s life.
Lauren, Tim, Di, and Taylor”
Thank you for all your prayers. Please see below. pic.twitter.com/G9rc3HZjZj
— Bryan Clauson Racing (@BryanClausonInc) August 8, 2016
Clauson who has raced in NASCAR, IndyCar and several other racing series, started the USAC midget car race ninth in the feature. He had just passed Chad Boat for the lead of the race and was widening the gap when he came upon lapped traffic entering turn 3 on the half-mile dirt track. Clauson was up near the outside wall when he made contact with a lapped car. The car of Clauson was sent into a series of violent flips, as it was coming to rest near the exit of turn 4, another car hit Clauson’s machine at near full race speed.
It took rescue workers nearly 30-minutes to extract the 27-year old to extricate Clauson. According to law enforcement officials he was airlifted about 11:00 p.m. local time to Bryan Trauma Center in Lincoln, Nebraska and was unconscious, but breathing on his own.
Early Sunday morning a hospital spokesperson confirmed that Clauson was listed in stable condition after being upgraded from critical. No other updates would be provided the spokesperson added, citing privacy concerns.
Sunday afternoon the family released a statement updating his condition as critical.
“Bryan was severely injured last night while competing in the Belleville Nationals midget race at Belleville High Banks in Kansas.
Bryan was airlifted to Bryan Medical Center West in Lincoln, Nebraska following the accident, where he remains in critical condition and under the care of the medical staff.
We appreciate the support of the racing community and are thankful for the outreach we’ve received. We ask that you continue to respect our privacy as we focus on Bryan.
– The Clauson Family”
Clauson had been involved in a crash Friday evening at the same track. He was uninjured in that incident. Chad Boat went on to win the event Saturday night.
Clauson made 27 starts in NASCAR as a development driver for Chip Ganassi, one in the Cup series in 2008 and 26 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. All his NASCAR starts came in 2007-2008. He also spent several seasons driving for Tony Stewart’s sprint car team. Stewart said after the race at Watkins Glen Sunday he anxious to see Clauson’s parents and fiancee.
“That kid drove for us for a long time and did a great job and never went anywhere,” Stewart said. “I don’t care what happened, no matter how bad his day was, he always found a way to smile with it. Him and Lauren being engaged, kid had such a bright future.”
Bryan Clauson was 27 years old. He is survived by his parents, a sister and fiancée Lauren Stewart.
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) August 8, 2016
— Scott Dixon (@scottdixon9) August 8, 2016
— Alex Bowman (@AlexBRacing) August 8, 2016
RIP Bryan pic.twitter.com/vNc5jJuEnw
— Andy Graves (@AndyJGraves) August 8, 2016