Sprint car driver Justin Owen of Harrison, Ohio, died from injuries he suffered when his car crashed during a race in southeastern Indiana, the U.S. Auto Club announced. He was 26.
Owen’s car struck the outside wall and flipped several times along the third turn in a qualifying race Saturday night for the AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship at Lawrenceburg Speedway, USAC said.
USAC canceled the remainder of the event after the crash.
Owen was the reigning track champion at Lawrenceburg Speedway with two feature wins and the title in 2022, USAC said. It was Owen’s first crown at the 3/8-mile dirt oval where he competed in the sprint car division for the past several seasons.
Among his top achievements were a victory in the season-closing Dick Gaines Memorial during his Lawrenceburg championship season in 2022, USAC said. In 2019, Owen had three victories, at the Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series at Pennsylvania’s Lernerville Speedway, his second victory in the event after one in 2016; at Indiana’s Paragon Speedway; and at Lawrenceburg’s Night of Champions event.
With USAC, Owen made two feature starts, both at Lawrenceburg, in 2019 and 2021.
“USAC expresses its deepest condolences to Justin’s family, team and many friends throughout the racing community,” the club said.
Tony Stewart Racing reacted to Owen’s death on social media.
“It’s never easy to be reminded how quickly things happen in this sport or that we’re not promised tomorrow,” the race team tweeted. “Keeping the family, friends and fans of Justin Owen in our prayers. We’re so sorry for your loss.”
Racer Chase Briscoe also acknowledged Owen’s death on social media, noting that he had “raced against Justin quite a bit in sprint cars.”