Former NASCAR driver Bryan Clauson died after a horrific crash during a race on Aug. 7 (video below).
Clauson was leading Belleville's Midget Nationals U.S. Auto Club race when he struck a guard rail, flipped and was subsequently hit by another competitor, according to the Daily Mail. He was airlifted to a hospital in Nebraska, but died from his injuries hours later.
"This is truly one of the darkest days in the 60-year history of the United States Auto Club," said USAC CEO Kevin Miller, according to USA Today. "Not only have we lost one of our greatest USAC champions, we've lost a true ambassador for all of motor sports."
Clauson made his mark on the racing world in 2005 when he became the youngest Midget National Feature winner in USAC history 16-years-old, according to his website. He then went on to race in the Indianapolis 500 three times and have a brief stint in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. However, he is best known for dirt racing in which he racked up more than 24 wins.
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"Bryan's passion for our sport was unparalleled," Miller told USA Today. "He was a leader not only on the track, but in the pits with his fellow competitors."
He is survived by his parents, sister and fiancee, Lauren Stewart and their dog, Chevy. Stewart and Clauson were set to marry in February 2017.
Following the news of her fiance's death, Stewart said her heart was in "a million pieces" on Twitter, according to the Daily Mail.
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In a statement, Clauson's family said he "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."
The statement continued, "However, we were more proud of our Bryan that took a moment to make a young fan's day, or demonstrated his uncommon kindness and appreciation toward his friends, family and fans."
Clauson was 27-years-old.