An enormous incident during the USAC’s AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship race at Lawrenceburg Speedway in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, claimed the life of experienced Ohio sprint car racer Justin Owen on Saturday. When he drifted high into Turn 3, lost control, and slammed into the wall during his qualifying run for the competition, the Harrison, Ohio native was in the middle of it.
Then, after flipping numerous times and taking off into the air, his car finally came to rest in the center of the track. Just before 6:30 p.m., USAC quickly red-flagged the event after the incident, and 30 minutes later, the series declared the event to be canceled. Sometime after midnight, they made Owen’s passing official.
Owen came into this weekend’s competition as the current track champion at Lawrenceburg Raceway after winning two features and the championship in 2022. The triumph was the 10-year sprint car veteran’s first championship at the 3/8-mile circuit, where he had previously competed in the sprint car category. 20 minutes north of the track is where Owen was raised.
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A triumph in the season-ending Dick Gaines Memorial from last year, when Owen won the Lawrenceburg title, was among Owen’s best on-track accomplishments, according to a USAC press release. In Lernerville Speedway in Pennsylvania, Paragon Speedway in Indiana, and Lawrenceburg’s Night of Champions competition, he won three times in 2019. With BOSS at Lernerville, he added a victory in 2016. At Lawrenceburg in 2019 and 2021, Owen had previously made two feature starts with USAC.
Ended up 7th tonight banging the boards, had a lot of fun and appreciated the opportunity.
Post race I learned about the passing of Justin Owen, raced against Justin quite a bit in sprint cars. Thoughts and prayers are with him and his family. pic.twitter.com/losYQ36rU0
— Chase Briscoe (@ChaseBriscoe_14) April 9, 2023
The NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Briscoe, a native of southern Indiana who grew up two hours from the Lawrenceburg track, mentioned that he had raced Owen “quite a bit” in sprint cars among the outpouring of sympathy following the news of Owen’s passing. He and his family are in our thoughts and prayers, Briscoe tweeted.
It’s Never easy to be reminded how quickly things happen in this sport or that we’re not promised tomorrow. Keeping the family, friends and fans of Justin Owen in our prayers. We’re so sorry for your loss.
— Tony Stewart Racing (@TonyStewart_Rcg) April 9, 2023
This is what the renowned NASCAR and sprint car driver’s team, Tony Stewart Racing, tweeted: “Being reminded of how rapidly things can change in this sport or that tomorrow is not certain is never pleasant. We will remember Justin Owen’s family, friends, and supporters in our prayers. Our hearts are broken for your loss.”
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