Three-time Indianapolis 500 starter and USAC legend Bryan Clauson passed away Sunday night from injuries sustained Saturday in a racing accident at the Belleville Nationals midget race in Belleville, Kansas. Clauson's accident occurred while leading. He was 27.
Calling Noblesville, Indiana home, Clauson began his life behind the wheel racing quarter midgets at age 5.
In 2005 Clauson became the youngest national feature winner in USAC history at just 16 years-old, which led to signing a developmental driver contract with Chip Ganassi Racing.
Clauson was named USAC national midgets Rookie of the Year in 2006 after winning sprint and midget races.
In 2007 Clauson expanded his driving duties beyond USAC events, running six ARCA and seven NASCAR XFINITY Series races. He compiled a pole, two seconds and a win at Gateway in ARCA.
The young Clauson continued his NASCAR path in 2008, competing in 21 NASCAR XFINITY Series races with Chip Ganassi Racing. His best finish was fifth at Kentucky and included a pole win at Daytona.
Entering 2009 Clauson's NASCAR opportunities dried up, but returned to his USAC roots. With 19 feature wins including the Indiana Midget Week Championship, Belleville Nationals, Night Before the Brickyard and the Turkey Night Grand Prix, Clauson was named National Midget Driver of the Year.
2010 consisted of more USAC dominance with another 19 feature wins. His prowess behind the wheel earned him a 2011 scholarship to compete the entire Indy Lights oval schedule.
While continuing his USAC career, Clauson would share a Sam Schmidt Indy Lights car with Conor Daly in 2011. Clauson competed in all six oval events while Daly ran the road and street course races. Clauson finished in the top seven in all six raes including a third at Iowa and pole at Indianapolis.
Clauson's USAC career thrived over the next five years, amassing wins, series championships, and breaking records.
His INDYCAR career would also continue. Parlaying is races with Sam Schmidt in 2011 into two more Indy Lights races with Fan Force United in 2012.
2012 would also mark Clauson's first Indianapolis 500 start. Teaming with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, he spent most of the month near the top of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway time charts. The rookie driver's month took turn after a late week accident. He never really fully recovered, starting 31st and finishing 30th with mechanical issues.
Clauson returned to the '500' in 2015 with backing from Jonathan Byrd Racing to compete with KVSH. He would start 30th and finish 31st.
Making his 3rd and final start at the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 last May, Clauson competed with Dale Coyne Racing with backing once again from Byrd. He would start 28th and finish 23rd. In addition to his career best finish, Clauson led 3 laps.
Clauson was on pace for his 200 race goal in 2016. Prior to Saturday's event, Clauson had competed in 115 races this season including 27 wins. His last coming Wednesday in Beloit, Kansas.
Clauson ranks 5th all-time with 112 USAC wins, just behind Hall of Famers AJ Foyt, Rich Vogler, Sleepy Tripp and Mel Kenyon.
You can view some of his career highlights at BryanClauson.com
Clauson leaves behind his fiancée Lauren, parents Tim & Di, sister Taylor and beloved dog, Chevy.
The Clauson family is asking in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the USAC Benevolent Fund website at http://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.
Dear @BryanClauson, I am so thankful I got to be your team mate this May. I loved working with you, I couldn't wait to do it again. #BC
I am so glad I got to come and watch you race on your home turf, I am so thankful I got to know you well enough to call you my friend. #BC
I am so heartbroken for your family, Lauren, your closest friends. But I would be lying if I said I wasn't heartbroken for me too. #BC - Pippa Mann
Heard the news of @BryanClauson passing as I drove into IMS. So incredibly sad. Spending the day behind the wheel, where he'd want to be.... - Ryan Hunter-Reay
I will miss u MY FRIEND @BryanClauson my love and prayer with your family RIP - Max Papis
Thinking about the whole Clauson family and Lauren this morning as I've been all weekend. Know that the whole racing family is here for you.
RIP my friend - Davey Hamilton
Thinking of @BryanClauson & his family right now. Raced & talked with him only a few times but his passion for racing and life were obvious. - Stefan Wilson
Sad news about @BryanClauson this morning. RIP my friend. Please pray for him and his family. - Juan Pablo Montoya
Prayers to the Clauson family and Lauren. Bryan was the definition of a true racer, He challenged to win in any type of car. RIP Bryan - Chad Boat
My thoughts and prayers are with Bryan and the Clausen family after the terribly sad news. - Martin Plowman
Honoured to have had the chance to race against @BryanClauson. Gutted I won't get to again. Thinking of Lauren and his family. - James Hinchcliffe
Legit in shock. RIP @BryanClauson. You will be missed and you were an amazing wheel man. Fly high. - Sage Karam
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of racer Bryan Clauson. He was an excellent ambassador for Motorsports. - Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
It's surreal to think Bryan Clauson is gone. He was one of the good ones. He was kind, funny, and a damn good driver. Heavy heart today.🙏🏼 - Danica Patrick
Extremely sad news, thoughts are with the Clauson family #GodspeedBC - Ayla Agren
Please pray for Lauren and all of @bryanclauson family. BC, we will be honoring you by doing what we love today. - Ed Carpenter
Sad to see the news of @BryanClauson the racing community just lost another great one. #RIPBC - AJ Allmendinger
Devastating news. My deep condolences to @BryanClauson family. RIP - EJ Viso
So sad to hear the passing of @BryanClauson after his accident. A true racer who will be sorely missed. Thought go to his friends & family. - Max Chilton
Dad, I'll love you forever. Thank you for your snuggles, unconditional love, and countless trips to victory lane! - Chevy Clauson (Bryan's dog)
RIP BC. Man had endless talent, but more importantly was a heck of a good guy, a caring individual & carried himself w/ class and dignity! - Graham Rahal
A throwback. Such an unbelievably versatile & badass talent behind the wheel of literally anything. One of a kind. - Mike Kitchel
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.
Sending many prayers to the whole Clauson family. They are some of the nicest people I've ever met in racing. #RIPBC
I can only hope to make the @ByrdRacing black and green look as good as you did. We will miss you brother #RIPBC - Conor Daly
My deepest condolences to the Clauson family and friends. This is heartbreaking. - Beth Paretta
God be with Tim, Diana and the entire @BryanClauson family. He was our friend and competitor. Racing has lost a great one. #RIPBC - Billy Boat
Very sad news about @bryanclauson very talented driver, best wishes to his family 🙏🏻 - Mike Conway
Bryan Clauson's rise into the Indy 500 personifies the spirit of the event. His humility & immense talent were gifts to the sport. Godspeed - Jake Query
Really Sad news this morning RIP @BryanClauson Thoughts and prayers to his family. - Carlos Munoz
Very sad news. Thoughts and prayers to Bryan's family. - Joey Logano
Extremely sad to hear about @BryanClauson passing away. The racing world lost another great driver. Thinking of his family. #RIPBryanClauson - Spencer Pigot
There's no easy way to go about today. @BryanClauson was a legend of this era. I was privileged to spend time with him at Indy this year.
My thoughts and prayers are with his family, his friends, and especially his fiancé. It's rare to find someone with a heart as big as his. - Zach Veach
Really saddened by the passing of Bryan Clausen. My thoughts & prayers are with his family. - Will Power
No words to describe how sad the racing community is this morning. RIP @BryanClauson - Tony Kanaan
So sad to hear the passing of our friend @BryanClauson . sending prayers to him , Lauren his Fiancee and his family. We ll miss you. - Simon Pagenaud
Nothing but sadness for Bryan Clauson family-gifted driver who loved the sport-RIP Bryan - Derek Daly
Our hearts are heavy after hearing of the loss of a true racer. We’re thinking of family and friends of Bryan Clauson today - Godspeed, BC. - Ed Carpenter Racing
Our deepest sympathies to the family, friends and fans of Bryan Clauson. Ever the bright spot and star in whichever genre of motorsports he was competing in, Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing is proud to have had the privilege of not only having him behind wheel but as a friend and part of our organization. We're all better people for having had Bryan as part of our lives. We ask that you keep his family... Tim, Diana, Lauren, Taylor & Zach... Along with his extended family and many friends and fans in your thoughts and prayers. Rest in peace, BC, and Godspeed. - Tony Stewart Racing
Very sad to hear the news of @BryanClauson passing. My thoughts and prayers are with Lauren and his family. #RIPBryan - Holly Wheldon
We mourn the passing of one of the greatest racers and people of our time. Thoughts & condolences to the Clauson family. #RIP - Firestone Racing
Another big loss for motorsport #BryanClauson #rip 🙏 - Tomas Scheckter
Another great driver gone before his time - Paul Page
About to roll out on track and heard the news of Bryan Clauson. Shocked and stunned. Godspeed to him and prayers for his family. - Alexander Rossi
No words...RIP Bryan...@BryanClauson - Mikhail Aleshin
Thinking about Bryan and his family. He was truly a wonderful person, and one hell of racer. - Josef Newgarden
Incredibly saddened. RIP Bryan Clauson. He passed doing what he absolutely loved and excelled at.. My thoughts are with his family 🙏🏼 - James Davison
Sad day..Rest in peace BC. Pray for his friends and family🙏🏼 I'm honored to have raced with these two amazing gents [Justin Wilson]
It's a very sad day in the Motorsport community. One of the good souls has been summoned to the… - Sebstian Saavedra
So sad to hear about the passing of @BryanClauson such a nice guy and great racer. Thinking of his family. RIP brother. - Ryan Briscoe
To the most versatile driver of our generation: Godspeed BC. It was an honor to work with you. Love ya bud - Kyle O'Gara
The racing world has lost another great one. RIP BC 🙏🏽 Thoughts are with his family. - Marco Andretti
Bryan was undoubtedly one of the nicest guys in the paddock. True and pure racer. You will be sorely missed my friend #RIPBC 🙏🏻 - Jack Harvey
We will miss you greatly @BryanClauson. You taught us so much & gave us your friendship. We'll always have you in our hearts. RIP my friend. - Sarah Fisher
It was an honor to have been your team mate and friend, and will always carry your memory at heart. R.I.P my friend @BryanClausonInc - Gabby Chaves
Heartbroken, again, for another motorsports family. Keep the Clauson family in your thoughts. - Nicole Briscoe
Sincere condolences to the @BryanClauson family. His contribution to our sport was immense. He will be sorely missed. RIPBryan - Mario Andretti
NO words... gutted..@BryanClauson fantastic person who just loved racing. Much love to his family and friends #RIPBC - Scott Dixon
Taken too soon, RIP. - Jay Howard
Racing gives the greatest thrills, now the greatest sorrow. Our deepest sympathy for @BryanClauson’s Family friends & fans #ChampionForever - AJ Foyt Racing
When you look up the word "racer" in the dictionary it should say Bryan Clauson. - Beccy Hunter-Reay
Very sad to wake up to the news of @BryanClauson's passing, he will be missed. Rest in peace and race on. - Dalton Kellett
My thoughts are with @BryanClauson family! You will be missed! - Stefano Coletti
The racing family lost an amazing young man. Deepest condolences to the family and friends of @BryanClauson. Rest in Peace. - Kurt Busch
Rest in Peace @BryanClauson , thoughts are with this wheelmans family and @LaurenStewart9 ... - Sean Rayhall
My heart breaks for Bryan's family and friends. Rest in peace pal, you'll be missed. #BryanClauson - Dario Franchitti
We’re heartbroken to learn of the loss of #BryanClauson. Our thoughts are w/ his family during this difficult time. - 500 Festival
Motorsports has suffered an incredible loss of one of it's best today. Our thoughts & prayers are w/ the Clauson family. RIP @BryanClauson - John Andretti
Another truly great racer taken from us too soon. It was great to have shared the track with you. #RIPBC - Patrick Dempsey
RIP Bryan Clauson. Helluva racer. All around nice guy. - Jamie Little
Very sad. Thoughts and prayers with Bryan's family and friends. #RIPBryanClauson - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“The highest praise we can give Bryan Clauson is that he was a ‘racer’s racer’. Whether on a quarter-mile dirt oval or at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, his talent and personality was appreciated by fans and respected by competitors throughout the racing world.
“All of us at Honda and Honda Performance Development mourn his passing, and extend our heartfelt sympathies to his fiancée, Lauren Stewart; his parents, Tim and Diana; his sister Taylor; and his many, many friends and fans.” - Art St. Cyr, president, Honda Performance Development