Sprint car driver Justin Owen of Harrison, Ohio, has died from injuries suffered after his car crashed during a qualifying race in southeastern Indiana. Owen, 26, was a veteran race car racer who was the track champion at Lawrenceburg Raceway and had two feature wins and the title in 2022.
His tragic death was announced by the U.S. Auto Club on Sunday. A chilling video has emerged that shows Owen’s car speeding before crashing and flipping multiple times. Owen suffered serious injuries to his head and body and was rushed to the hospital where he died of his injuries sometime later, the U.S. Auto Club announced.
The U.S. Auto Club (USAC) said that on Saturday night, Owen’s car crashed into the outside wall and flipped multiple times along the third turn during a qualification race for the AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship at Lawrenceburg Speedway.
The crash led to the cancellation of the remainder of the event. According to USAC, the 26-year-old Owen won two features at Lawrenceburg Raceway and was the current track champion in 2022.
Owen’s 2022 victory was his first at the 3/8-mile dirt oval, where he had previously raced sprint cars, the USAC said in a news release, in which it also provided support to Owen’s family.
According to USAC, one of his greatest wins came in the season-ending Dick Gaines Memorial during the 2022 Lawrenceburg championship campaign.
“USAC expresses its deepest condolences to Justin’s family, team and many friends throughout the racing community,” the organization said.
Promising Career’s Ends
In 2019, Owen won three races: the Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series at Lernerville Speedway in Pennsylvania (his second win in the event after one in 2016); the Paragon Speedway in Indiana; and the Night of Champions competition in Lawrenceburg.
Owen had two feature starts with USAC at Lawrenceburg in 2019 and 2021.
The racing community and the young star’s family and friends started to pay tribute to the rising star.
Late Saturday night, his fiancÃ©e Kenzie Knapp changed her profile picture to show them kissing and added the caption, “I love you more than you’ll ever know.”
“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,” NASCAR Cup series driver Chase Briscoe wrote on Twitter.
“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,” renowned NASCAR and sprint car driver’s team, Tony Stewart Racing wrote on Twitter.