Sprint Car driver Bryan Clauson has been hospitalized following a harrowing accident in the Belleville (Kan.) Midget Nationals USAC midget race.
Clauson was airlifted to a hospital in Lincoln, Neb., following the Saturday night crash. His family has declined to provide an update on his condition.
Clauson is considered the nation’s top short-track dirt-car driver. He has won four USAC national championships and was participating in his 116th race of the season on Saturday night.
His schedule this year was on pace for 200 starts, and that included a 23rd-place finish in the Indianapolis 500.
The 27-year-old Indiana resident has started three Indianapolis 500s and was a development driver for Chip Ganassi in NASCAR, where he competed in 26 races over the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
Clauson was a three-time winner and the defending champion at Belleville. He flipped off the guard rail between turns 3 and 4 while leading. His car rolled several times and was hit by another car.
It was his second wreck of the weekend.
He started seventh on Friday night before he was in another vicious wreck. After that accident, he posted on Twitter his appreciation for his safety equipment, his chassis manufacturer and his team for getting his car ready for him to race Saturday night.
Many top NASCAR drivers immediately took to Twitter to ask for prayers for Clauson, a driver well known in the racing community. Among those anxiously awaiting an update on his condition were Tony Stewart, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Larson and Clint Bowyer, who all have roots in dirt racing and USAC.
“Wishing the best for @BryanClauson after a violent crash last night at Belleville Nationals,” posted Jeff Gordon.