Race Car Drivers Killed In Crashes – Brian Clawson, USAC race car driver, dies after weekend crash: Two-way Clawson, who won the United States Automobile Club national championship, collided with another car and overturned while driving in Saturday’s race. Later his car was hit by an oncoming car.
Brian Clawson smiles in qualifying for the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series 250 at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala. Hide caption Rainier Ehrhardt/AP
Race Car Drivers Killed In Crashes
Brian Clawson smiles in qualifying for the 2007 ARCA RE/MAX Series 250 at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala.
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Brian Clawson, one of the most decorated and versatile drivers to ever compete in the Automobile Club of the United States, died Sunday of injuries sustained in a Saturday night crash in Kansas. He was 27 years old.
According to multiple reports, Clawson took the lead at the Belleville Midget Nationals. The Indianapolis Star described what happened next:
“The Noblesville, Ind., driver was leading the 39th Belleville Midget Nationals when he was struck by an oncoming car in Turn 4. As that car made contact, Clawson’s car spun several times before landing in the middle of the road. Ryan Gratin was driving. . The car behind him was unable to avoid hitting him and ran over both cars.”
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Clawson was airlifted to Bryan Medical Center in Lincoln, where he died Sunday.
. The newspaper adds that Clawson was considered the best short-track car driver of the last decade:
“He’s won a total of four USAC national championships – two in sprint cars, two more in midgets. He’s started three Indianapolis 500s since 2012 and led three laps in this year’s race before finishing 23rd.… ” A testament to his versatility, Clawson completed This year’s 500 and headed to Kokomo Speedway, where he won the 30-lap sprint car event. His career also included winning stock car races in the ARCA Series, and he was the fastest qualifier in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and Indy Lights races.”
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At a press conference, USAC president Kevin Miller said Clawson’s career was “a dream only a few racers can achieve.”
“This is truly one of the darkest days in the 60-year history of the Automobile Club of the United States,” Miller said. “Not only have we lost one of our greatest USAC champions, we’ve lost a true ambassador for all of motorsports.”
Indianapolis Speedway President Doug Boles said Clouseau combines his “passion and drive” with his natural talent, making him “a favorite every time he gets into a small or sprint car.”
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“He had a poise and character outside of the race car that made him a joy to be around for both competitors and fans alike,” Bolles said at a news conference. “His spirit, positive attitude and encouraging talent will be missed by the entire racing community.”
Clawson was the sixth driver to achieve 100 career wins, according to the USAC Racing website. In his 112 career starts, USAC has featured USAC Hall of Famers Rich Vogler, A.J. Just lost. Foyt, Sleepy Tripp and Mel Kenyon.
An icon. A legend. A remarkable man on and off the race track. Brian Clawson truly lived the dream.https://t.co/E9QXkZRUfj— USAC Racing (@USACNation) August 8, 2016
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It’s surreal to think that Brian Clawson is gone. He was one of the good ones. He was friendly, funny and a good driver. Today’s heart is heavy.🙏🏼 — Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick) August 8, 2016
Very sad day today losing @BryanClauson. Remember that God is in control and has a plan for all of us. Brian was a great driver/guy! — Tony Stewart (@TonyStewart) August 8, 2016
I think we have working cars with @IMS today. Please keep Brian’s family and fiancé in your prayers. pic.twitter.com/1odFpAP1w5—J. Douglas Bolles (@jdouglas4) August 8, 2016
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Our hearts are heavy with the news of @BryanClauson’s passing. May he rest in peace and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.— Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) August 8, 2016
The USAC Charitable Foundation is here to support the @BryanClauson family. Click here: https://t.co/KAym7ACWTE #BCStrong— Team Penske (@Team_Penske) August 8, 2016 Eight years after the young driver’s death, a new documentary seeks answers about the fatal night at the dirt track.
One evening eight years ago this month, a 20-year-old stock car driver named Kevin Ward Jr. took to a dirt-filled oval circuit in upstate New York for a minor league race. About halfway down the road, he collided with a rival car and crashed into a barrier. Seeing red, Ward got out of his car and charged the circuit to take out his frustration. To stop him, several cars moved to the inside lane. But as Ward’s race-finishing car approached, it flipped toward the young driver, throwing him 25 feet off the track and killing him. Spectators at Canandaigua Motorsports Park gasped. They have not seen the fear of the driver killed in the race. They saw rising talent driven by Ward, a local hero and Nascar megastar Tony Stewart.
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A three-time Cup champion, Stewart, 43, was mooning the race before the Nascar road race at Watkins Glen. In the immediate aftermath of Ward’s death, which was officially an “accident”, Stewart was overwhelmed by public sympathy. Ward, on the other hand, was demonized as a hothead — and a postmortem toxicology report by a drug user shortly after found not only THC in Ward’s system, enough to undermine his conviction, according to Ontario prosecutor Michael Tantillo. . Something about this photo always seemed off. Now, a recent documentary shows just how far in pixels.
The Hit premiered at this year’s DC Independent Film Forum. And the sports world-shattering crash he painstakingly recreated wasn’t an obvious project for writer-director Chris Halsney. An award-winning investigative reporter and broadcaster-in-residence at American University, Halsne doesn’t cover motorsports or watch it for fun. But then he learned about a presentation on the accident he was giving at a conference of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers. “[I thought], wow, this is a visual, interesting, new piece of science,” he told the Guardian.
Until then, Ward’s death was a story told through grainy cell phone and roadside video that left plenty of room for reasonable doubt as to whether Stewart was actually guilty. Denver’s analysis greatly reduced this knowledge gap. Analysis using 3D animation from more than a billion data points clearly shows that Stewart accelerated his car toward a defenseless man and fishtailed. The only thing he can say for sure is whether Stewart did it on purpose (he was not charged with a crime in Ward’s death).
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The analysis, just released on The Hit, is the biggest bombshell in the 80-minute documentary. This comes in handy as Halsne and his team bombard viewers with multiple replays of the crash and in HD-caliber quality not available at the time of Ward’s death. Meanwhile, The Hit chronicles two drivers who came together on that fateful night in Canandaigua—one, a downhill pullback who now races for the pure fun of it; Another, a lifer who couldn’t be more satisfied with his minor league game. (Not surprisingly, Halsney and his team had more access to Ward’s family than Stewart, who declined to participate in the film.) And the film thoroughly explores the world of sprint cars—which differ not only dynamically from asphalt-based cars. open-wheelers, but also a subculture where professionals mingle with weekend warriors and provide reliable weekend entertainment to rural communities like Canandaigua.
But where The Heat really hits its stride is reviewing the accident investigation. At the very least, it shows that the mechanics of the sprint cars designed to turn left are as much controlled by the throttle as the steering wheel and the accident scene by local officials. After Ward’s death, it exposes Stewart’s VIP treatment, flying out of town under the cover of darkness without parting with any car recording equipment. His interview with the police is almost half a page long. As for Stewart’s intentions, The Hit collects never-before-seen footage of Stewart’s wreckage — the only time he gave his side of the crash. He says he was actually trying to speed down the road away from Ward when the car hit the fishtail. But that account is contradicted by eyewitness accounts, in which two nearby racers saw him take the track towards Ward – a stormy and confrontational demeanor that earned him the nickname “Smoke”.
“We said from day one that he was moving up the track and obviously hitting the gas,” Kevin Ward Sr. tells Halsney. “I know what cars do when you step on the gas. Why did he hit the gas?”
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