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Bryan Clauson to be inducted into National Sprint Car Hall of Fame

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The late Bryan Clauson will posthumously receive one of the greatest honors of his racing career.

Clauson will be one of eight individuals to be inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. The 29th annual ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 2, in Knoxville, Iowa.

Clauson died August 7, 2016, from injuries sustained in a crash in a midget car race the night before in Belleville, Kansas. He was 27.

Clauson is one of three drivers that will be part of the eight inductees. Here is what the Hall said of Clauson in the official statement:

“Despite passing at the age of 27, Bryan’s impact on sprint car racing was already indelible. He was a two-time USAC sprint car champion and Driver of the Year. He won 41 USAC National sprint car features, and was a two-time Indiana Sprint Week Champion.

“After switching to wing racing, he held wins with the All Stars, the National Sprint League, ASCS and on Friday night at the Knoxville Nationals, one of the two years that he put himself in the Knoxville Nationals championship race. Bryan would also qualify for the Indianapolis 500 three times.”

During his racing career, Clauson won:

  • 3 USAC National Midget Series championships (2010, 2011, 2015).
  • 3 USAC National Drivers Champion honors (2010, 2011, 2012)
  • 2 USAC National Sprint Car Series Champion (2012, 2013)
  • Non-winged Driver of the Year (2013)
  • Won the Chili Bowl (2014)
  • 3-time Belleville Midget Nationals Champion (2009, 2010, 2015)
  • 2-time Turkey Night Grand Prix Winner (2009, 2010)

Clauson will join Pennsylvania legend Lance Dewease and Florida racer David Steele as those chosen to be inducted into the Hall under the Drivers category.

Inductees honored under the Owners, Mechanics, Builders, Manufacturers and Car Builders category are Scott Gerkin and Emmett J. Malloy.

Those chosen for Promoters, Officials, Media Members and Event/Series Sponsors are Steve Beitler and photographer Bob Mays.

Lastly, the final inductee – under the pre-1945 category – is Oscar Dwain “Red” Garnant.

“This year’s inductee group is another testament to the hard work put in by our 72-member National Induction Committee,” National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum Foundation executive director Bob Barker said in a media release. “We are really looking forward to our 29th induction banquet on the Marion County Fairgrounds in Knoxville, Iowa.”

The Sprint Car Hall of Fame was established in 1990 and has inducted 382 members, including this year’s class.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).