Race Car Driver’s Tweets About ‘Tough Hit’ Hours Before Getting on Track Again End Up Being His Last

Twenty-seven-year-old race car driver Bryan Clauson was leading the Midget Nationals USAC race in Belleville, Kansas on Saturday evening when he was involved in a fiery crash.

As USA Today reports, his vehicle was pushed into a fence and then flipped on its side before being hit head-on by another competitor in the race.

Clauson, who is pictured below, was airlifted to a hospital after the accident.

This wasn’t the only crash in which Clauson was involved this past weekend.

Before his race on Saturday, he tweeted about a “tough hit” he took the night before:

Clauson goes on to thank his team and the car’s manufacturer for “keeping him safe”:

Those tweets were his last. Clauson succumbed to his injuries on Sunday, surrounded by his family.

According to Fox News, Clauson has appeared in the Indianapolis 500 — he even led for three laps in the 2015 race — and had competed in NASCAR races.

Known as the “top dirt-track racer in the country,” the twenty-seven-year-old was slated to compete in 200 races in 2016. At the time of his crash, Clauson had competed in 116 races this year and won 27 races.

After his death, Clauson’s family released a statement.

In part, their words read:

“Our Bryan fought to the end with the same desire that he demonstrated behind the wheel of all the various race cars he would park in victory lane. However, we were more proud of our Bryan that took a moment to make a young fan’s day, or demonstrated his uncommon kindness and appreciation toward his friends, family and fans.”

According to an August 2014 report in the Charlotte Observer, there were over 520 deaths in auto racing in the United States between 1989 and 2014.