BELLEVILLE, Kansas- USAC says Bryan Clauson, 27, one of the most decorated and accomplished drivers in the history of the club, succumbed to injuries sustained in a crash while leading Saturday night’s “Belleville Midget Nationals.”
“It is with extreme sadness that we must accept this devastating news,” said USAC CEO/President Kevin Miller. “This is one of the darkest days in the history of the United States Auto Club. Not only have we lost one of our greatest USAC Champions, we have lost a true ambassador for all of motorsports. Bryan’s passion for our sport was unparalleled. He was a leader not only on the track, but in the pits with his fellow competitors. There is a tremendous hole in the hearts of our community today as we grieve his loss along with his family and friends.”
“Bryan was a mentor, a competitor, and a close friend,” USAC Series Director Levi Jones said. “I am truly saddened by his loss and we will miss him dearly in our sport.”
Bryan became just the sixth driver to reach 100 USAC feature wins during a career, doing so earlier during the 2016 season during the “Winter Challenge” at Canyon Speedway Park in Peoria, Arizona. In the process, he became the youngest to reach the feat.
Just three days prior to his accident, on Wednesday at Solomon Valley Raceway in Beloit, Kansas, Bryan earned his final USAC victory – his 112th – during a USAC National Midget event. His 112 career USAC wins rank behind only USAC Hall of Famers Rich Vogler, A.J. Foyt, Sleepy Tripp and Mel Kenyon.
Bryan ranks seventh on both the USAC National Sprint Car and USAC National Midget wins list with 41 and 38 wins, respectively, in each division. He also scored two career USAC Silver Crown victories.
This season alone, Bryan had already racked up 15 USAC wins and made his third career start in the Indianapolis 500, leading three laps at the midway point of the 100th running of the famed race.
Yet, the Noblesville, Indiana driver had long ago cemented his legacy by winning the USAC National Drivers Championship in 2010, 2011 and 2012; the 2012 and 2013 USAC National Sprint Car Championship; the 2010 and 2011 USAC National Midget Championship; the 2013 and 2014 “Indiana Sprint Week” title, the 2009, 2011 and 2016 “Indiana Midget Week” title; and the 2012, 2013 and 2016 “Eastern Storm” titles.
Bryan was a highly-respected competitor among his peers – a true professional in every sense of the word – setting an example of a champion on and off the racetrack with his positive attitude and a personality that drew people to him, which made him a fan-favorite at racetracks all over the country.
A gifted and talented racecar driver; a humble and exemplary man. That was Bryan Clauson.
USAC expresses its deepest condolences to Bryan’s family, team and many friends throughout the racing community.
Persons interested in donating to Bryan’s fund may direct their contributions to the USAC Benevolent Fund website at http://usacbf.org/cash-donation/.
Donations may also be made by check.