Racing Community Mourns Loss Of Chili Bowl Champion
TULSA, Oklahoma - People in the racing community are shocked and saddened by the death a Chili Bowl Champion.
Bryan Clauson died after a wreck during a race in Kansas over the weekend.
The 27 year old traveled all over the country for his sport, and he had a few very successful races in Tulsa, he won the Chili Bowl Nationals in 2014 and placed second this year.
Chili Bowl Nationals announcer, Bryan Hulbert, got to know Clauson over the past few years, and he watched the race in Kansas on TV Saturday.
"It literally looked like a bomb went off - the car, just, the way it came apart. It's not something that I ever want to see again," Hulbert said.
Hulbert spoke to us from the Knoxville Nationals in Iowa, where Clauson was scheduled to race this week.
"The mood's gonna be, gonna be very somber. It already is,” Hulbert said. “But one thing about racers is, if you go, go out racing, then you went out doing what you love and this is - we're gonna keep racing, we're gonna keep going, and, obviously, we're gonna keep racing with Bryan Clauson in our minds and in our memories."
Clauson had a goal to compete in 200 races this year - one of them was at the Creek County Speedway in June.
"To be over 100 races in and getting close to his goal and to find out this morning that he is gone - it's, it's heart-shattering, more than heart-breaking," said Hulbert.
He said, despite the awards, titles and attention for his success, Clauson will be remembered most for embracing the people around him.
"He really understood this sport, and he understood what makes it great is he was never too busy to talk to the fans and to be a part of this sport,” said Hulbert. “At the same time, he was never too busy to be a part of his own family."
Clauson died at a hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska, with family and friends by his side.
The family posted the following announcement on Facebook:
Last night, the 7th of August, we said goodbye to our son, my fiancé, our friend, Bryan Clauson. He was surrounded by family and friends and we were grateful that we could experience his final moments with him.
Our Bryan fought to the end with the same desire that he demonstrated behind the wheel of all the various race cars he would park in victory lane. However, we were more proud of our Bryan that took a moment to make a young fans 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 early yesterday morning.
We know that our Bryan is also your Bryan and that you would like to participate in honoring him. A service will be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at a date and time to be announced soon. In lieu of flowers, or to make a donation, people may direct their contributions 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.
Thank you for being a part of our Bryan's life.
Lauren, Tim, Di, and Taylor