INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Noblesville native Bryan Clauson died Sunday after a serious dirt track racing crash Saturday in Kansas, his family said in a statement Monday morning.
"Our Bryan fought until the end," his family said.
"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 & Co., the parent of IndyCar and IMS. "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."
He crashed Saturday night at a dirt track in Belleville, Kan.
Clauson had just taken the lead and was starting to pull away when he hit the fence, rolled several times and was hit by another car.
He was airlifted to a hospital in Nebraska.
Friends say the 27 year old's parents were at the race, and in his parents' neighborhood, we found a sign asking folks to pray for Bryan.
One of the top dirt track racers in the country, Clauson also raced in his third Indy 500 this year. He led three laps and finished in 23rd place. The Speedway displayed his name on the scoring pylon Monday morning.
Friends of the family say racing is in his blood.
"I saw him grow up, raced go-carts when they first moved here, went to Noblesville High School, did charity work with the Boys and Girls Club in Noblesville," said David Eaton, a neighbor of the family. "Great family."
Clauson's family released a statement saying, in part, "We appreciate the support of the racing community and are thankful for the outreach we've received."
They are asking for privacy.
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 IMS at a date to be announced.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for contributions to the USAC Benevolent Fund.