Driver Dies After Flipping Race Car During Qualifying Race At Speedway

[Screenshot/YouTube/Nice Novia]

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A sprint car driver was killed April 8 after flipping his car during a qualifying race in Indiana.

Justin Owen, 26, sustained fatal injuries after his sprint car struck an outside wall and flipped several times during the third turn at the United States Auto Club (USAC) AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship at Lawrenceburg Speedway, USAC Racing announced in a press release.

Owen, who was the reigning track champion at the speedway, had been racing sprint cars for more than ten years when the fatal accident occurred, the press release stated.

Sprint car racing involves racing on dirt oval tracks with “ultralight weight [vehicles] with a huge amount of horsepower” usually resulting in “wheel-to-wheel action”among the competitors, according to NAPA online. Sprint racing is extremely popular in the United States with a steady following also in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, according to Top End Sports. Sprint racers often use their experience in the event as a stepping stone into NASCAR and IndyCar racing circuits, the outlet reported. (RELATED: REPORT: NASCAR Driver Responsible For Fatal Off-Track Car Crash)

In addition to his win at the Lawrenceburg Championship in 2022, Owen celebrated three victories in 2019 -the Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series at Pennsylvania’s Lernerville Speedway, one at the Indiana’s Paragon Speedway and another at Lawrenceburg’s Night of Champions event, WCPO reported.

Owen was a regular at the Lawrenceburg track having grown up only twenty minutes from the speedway, according to WCPO. His crash Saturday night resulted in an immediate red flag of the event, with USAC deeming the race “too dangerous to continue,” the outlet reported. When it was determined that Owen had died of his injuries, approximately 30 minutes later, USAC announced that the rest of the event had been cancelled.

“USAC expresses its deepest condolences to Justin’s family, team and many friends throughout the racing community,” the club stated.