Beloved race car driver Bryan Clauson died Sunday at a Lincoln, Nebraska, hospital following a horrific crash at Saturday night's Belleville Midget Nationals in Kansas. He was 27.
The accident took place on lap 14 of the 40 lap race as Clauson's car "climbed a guard rail between Turns 3 and 4 and flipped heavily before being struck by a car driven by Ryan Greth," according to United States Auto Club's (USAC) Twitter account.
"This is truly one of the darkest days in the 60-year history of the United States Auto Club," USAC CEO Kevin Miller said. "Not only have we lost one of our greatest USAC champions, we've lost a true ambassador for all of motor sports."
Clauson was best known for being one of the nation's top dirt track racers, but also ran in three Indianapolis 500 races and had a brief NASCAR Xfinity Series career.
Clauson's impressive dirt track career included more than 170 wins including two USAC national sprint car championships, two USAC national midget car championships, and a win in the prestigious Chili Bowl in 2014. The driver was also a three-time winner of teh Belleville Nationals where he was racing to defend his title Saturday night.
Clauson's family issued a statement Monday morning confirming the driver's passing and thanking fans and the racing community for their support.
In lieu of flowers the family asks donations to be made directly to the USAC Benevolent Fund by clicking here. Checks can also be made out to the USAC Benevolent Fund in the name of Bryan Clauson and mailed to 124 E. Northfield Drive, Suite F #129, Brownsburg, Indiana 46112.