Top dirt-track racer Bryan Clauson dies from crash injuries

FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2007, file photo, Bryan Clauson smiles in his car during qualifying for the ARCA RE/MAX Series 250 auto race, at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala. Clauson, considered the top dirt-track racer in the country, has died from injuries suffered in an accident at the Belleville (Kansas) Midget Nationals USAC midget race. He was 27. His death was announced Monday morning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A statement from his family was read that said Clauson died Sunday evening, Aug. 7, 2016, and "fought to the end." (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Bryan Clauson, considered the top dirt-track racer in the country, has died from injuries suffered in an accident at the Belleville (Kansas) Midget Nationals USAC midget race. He was 27.

His death was announced Monday morning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A statement from his family was read that said Clauson died Sunday evening and “fought to the end.”

Clauson was leading the race Saturday night when he crashed passing lapped traffic. His car rolled and was hit by another competitor. He was airlifted to a hospital in Nebraska, and died surrounded by his family.

Clauson was on pace to compete in 200 races this year. He had 27 victories in 116 starts, and led three laps in the Indianapolis 500 in May.

A four-time USAC national champion, Clauson was aiming to become the winningest driver in series history.

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