By Mark Ambrogi
Three-time Indianapolis 500 starter Bryan Clauson died Aug. 7 from injuries suffered in a devastating crash at the Belleville (Kan.) Nationals midget car race Aug. 6.
Clauson was leading the race when his car came in contact with a lapped car and flipped, end-over-end, a few times, landing in the middle of the track, where it was hit by another car.
Clauson was airlifted to Bryan Medical Center in Lincoln, Neb. The Clauson family statement said Clauson, a 2007 Noblesville High School graduate, was surrounded by family and friends.
The statement read:
“Our Bryan fought to the end with the same desire that he demonstrated behind the wheel of all the various racecars he would park in victory lane.
However, we were more proud of our Bryan that took a moment to make a young fan’s 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.”
The family statement said a service will be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at a date and time to be announced soon.
Clauson, 27, was in a quest to run 200 races this year, the mission was billed “The Chasing 200 Circular Insanity.” This was his 116th race.
Clauson, who raced in his third Indy 500 in May and lead for three laps, just brought a house in Noblesville in October 2015 with his fiancée Lauren Stewart. They planned to get married in February.
Byrd Racing teammate Conor Daly, a Noblesville native, took to Twitter, saying “Our sport has lost an incredible person. A winner more times than most of us will ever be. It was a true honor to be your teammate, Bryan.”
Daly followed up, posting a photo of the two racing side by side with the comment, “I can only hope to make the @ByrdRacing black and green look as good as you did. We will miss you brother. #RIPBC”
Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear said thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Bryan Clauson.
“The world knew him as a talented driver, but off the track, he was an even better person,” Ditslear stated. “Bryan lived and was raised in Noblesville and represented our city well whenever he was away. He brought so much joy to our community as we watched him grow through the driving ranks and participate in some of the sport’s biggest races. His presence and humble smile will be missed.”
Clauson moved from California with his family to Noblesville when he was starting fifth grade.
“Noblesville High School is proud to call Bryan Clauson one of our own,” NHS Principal Jeff Bryant stated. “He will always be remembered as our friend, classmate, teammate and of course, our favorite racer. Our thoughts are with his family, his friends and all the people inside and outside of NHS that he has touched over the years.”
Clauson was a two-time National Midget Series champion.
Along with his fiancee, Clauson is survived by parents, Tim and Diana, and sister Taylor. In lieu of flowers, the family asked that people 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 at 124 E. Northfield Dr., Suite F #129, Brownsburg, IN, 46112.