(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – Bryan Clauson was happiest when he was behind the wheel of a race car. In fact, the happiest day of his life may have been earlier this year on May 29, when he had his best Indianapolis 500 finish in the afternoon and drove a sprint car to the feature victory at Kokomo Speedway that night.
Clauson, 27, died Sunday evening from injuries sustained in a crash the night before at the Belleville, KS, Nationals midget race on the half-mile dirt oval. Clauson was airlifted to Bryan Medical Center in Lincoln, NE, but did not survive.
“This is certainly a sad day for the racing community as a whole, and on behalf of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, we send our deepest condolences to the family of Bryan Clauson,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman and Co, the parent of INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “Anybody who witnessed Bryan behind the wheel of a race car can attest to his elite ability, relentlessness and unbridled willingness to race anything on wheels. While he’ll be remembered most as a legend of short-track racing, his participation in the Indianapolis 500 exemplifies his fearlessness, true versatility as a competitor and the pure depth of his talent as a driver.”
Clauson is survived by his parents, Tim and Di, his sister Taylor, and fiancée Lauren Stewart. Funeral arrangements are pending.
A memorial service in his honor will take place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at a date soon to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, or to make a donation, people may direct their contributions to the USAC Benevolent Fund or cheques should be made out to the USAC Benevolent Foundation in the name of Bryan Clauson, and sent to 124 E Northfield Drive, Suite F #129, Brownsburg, IN 46112.
“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,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer. “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.”