“Devastated” – Tony Stewart Joins the NASCAR Community as They Mourn the Sudden Demise of a Young Racer

Published 04/09/2023, 9:58 AM EDT

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The motorsports world has lost some innocent, young souls recently. Back in January this year, NASCAR lost the young and talented Federico Gutierrez after he and his brother Max were involved in a tragic crash. He was just 17 years old. Unfortunately, another young and promising driver became a victim of the dreaded fate on Saturday.

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Fans have already witnessed how brutal the sport can be when NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Sr lost his life at the Daytona 500 in 2001. Although NASCAR’s top-tier series such as the Cup and Xfinity haven’t seen such tragedies happen on the track since then, the same cannot be said for all motorsports events, as on the night of the 8th, sprint car racer Justin Owen succumbed to a horrific fate while racing at Indiana’s Lawrenceburg Speedway. Owen was involved in a horrible crash during the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship event. The injuries sustained were too severe for him to have any chance of surviving as he did back in 2014.

USAC driver Justin Owen loses his life in a frightful incident, nine years after surviving a similar one

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Justin Owen was a well-recognized face in the USAC arena. His three victories at Pennsylvania’s Lernerville Speedway, Indiana’s Paragon Speedway, and Lawrenceburg Speedway in 2019 earned him a lot of plaudits. In fact, he had an impressive 2022 season, where he scored two feature wins and a title triumph at Lawrenceburg Speedway. Without a doubt, the reigning track champion at Lawrenceburg Speedway had a bright future ahead of him. Not many know but Owen grew up just 20 minutes north of the track that took his life.

Even in his worst nightmares, he couldn’t have imagined the race to turn the way it did. It was unfortunate how his car lost control going into Turn 3 and slammed into the wall. Things only got worse with the car going airborne and flipping over multiple times before landing in the middle of the track. Sadly, despite being airlifted to the nearest facility, the medics were unable to save him. It is indeed heart-wrenching how life can make the same venue produce such contrasting outcomes for a driver.

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Surprisingly, this was not the first time he was involved in a severe crash on a dirt track. Back in June 2014, the Ohio-born experienced a similar type of crash where his car lost its grip on the dirt track, toppled, and flipped before crashing into the fencing at the Gas City Speedway. Luckily, he survived back then with minor injuries, but the accident was much too severe this time.

Following Owen’s incident on Saturday, the USAC event was canceled. It is certainly very sad to lose the 26-year-old driver, that too on a racetrack.

As the tragic news hit, several known personalities from the NASCAR and motorsports fraternity expressed their shock and grief at the loss.

NASCAR legend Tony Stewart and others react to the Justin Owen tragedy

Justin Owen may not have been well-acquainted with many in NASCAR, but he was a part of the racing fraternity. Several drivers and insiders from NASCAR conveyed their compassion toward the grieving family members. Popular figures from NASCAR like Tony Stewart, Chase Briscoe, and others expressed their shock and offered condolences upon hearing the tragic news.

Even those who weren’t personally acquainted with Owen extended their prayers to Owen’s family and friends.

People were devastated by the sad news.

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The tragic incident has once again shone a light on the need for all series, teams, and venues to give paramount importance to driver safety, regardless of the tier one competes in.

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Meanwhile, let our prayers be with Owen’s family and friends.

WATCH THIS STORY: “Sad Day Indeed”—NASCAR Fans Bemoan Loss of Another Classic NASCAR Track

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Written by:

Priyank Mithani

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Priyank Mithani is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports with a passion for motorsports that began in his childhood. Over the years, he has been following the sport meticulously, and his insights are highly respected within the NASCAR community. Priyank is a devoted fan of Kyle Busch and has closely followed his career for years.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal

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