News from the sprint car world is depressing. Justin Owen’s demise following a crash in Lawrenceburg tonight has now been officially confirmed. The evening’s races were abandoned. Prayers and thoughts are with Justin Owen’s friends and family. Keep reading to watch a video of the terrible car crash and Owen’s cause of death.
What happened to Justin Owen?
Justin Owen, a NASCAR Sprint car driver died after the Lawrenceburg Speedway accident. According to Lawrenceburg emergency personnel, a driver-related issue has forced the cancellation of a racing event on Saturday night at Lawrenceburg Raceway.
Following his collision at the Lawrenceburg Raceway earlier today, NASCAR and Sprint Cup driver Justin Owen passed away. He was a victim of the tragedy that occurred in Ohio tonight, and despite all efforts to save him, he was tragically declared dead.
“USAC expresses its deepest condolences to Justin’s family, team and many friends throughout the racing community,” the organization said in a news release.
First responders were able to extricate him from the vehicle he was locked in, however, he died after being airlifted or brought out of the Racetrack by a Taken by Life unit.
The Lawrenceburg Raceway in Indiana will not host the USAC AMSOIL INC. Sprint Car National Championship race that was originally scheduled for tonight. Justin Owen of Harrison, Ohio was involved in an incident during qualification that led to the cancellation of the event.
In the local racing scene in 2019, Justin won the boss sprint feature at Lernerville and then again the following night at Mercer. Let us join together in prayer for the power to elevate everyone’s spirits as our racing community has been given yet another setback.
Following his passing, his fiancée Kenzie Knapp updated her profile picture on Facebook with a photo of the two kissings and she captioned the photo below.
I love you more than you’ll ever know,
Owen’s fiancée Kenzie Knapp changed her Facebook profile picture to the two of them, following the former’s death (Image via Facebook)
Who was Justin Owen?
The veteran race car driver, who was born in Harrison, Ohio, has won two races at Lawrenceburg Raceway and won the championship in 2022. At Lawrenceburg Raceway, Owen held the title as the current track champion after winning two features in 2022.
Owen had previously competed regularly in the sprint car category at the 3/8-mile dirt circuit in southeast Indiana, but this was his first victory there. Among his finest accomplishments was winning the Dick Gaines Memorial at the end of the 2022 Lawrenceburg championship season.
With the Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series, Owen won three races in 2019: once at Lernerville Speedway in Pennsylvania, again at Paragon Speedway in Indiana, and one more at Lawrenceburg’s Night of Champions event. He triumphed in Lernerville in 2016 with BOSS. Owen had two feature debuts with USAC, both at Lawrenceburg in 2019 and 2021.
Lawrenceburg Speedway Statement:
JUSTIN OWEN SUCCUMBS TO INJURIES IN USAC SPRINT CRASH AT LAWRENCEBURG
Lawrenceburg, Indiana (April 8, 2023)………Justin Owen, a competitor in the sprint car ranks for more than a decade, succumbed to injuries sustained in a qualifying crash during Saturday night’s USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship event at Indiana’s Lawrenceburg Speedway.
The remainder of the event was canceled following the incident involving the 26-year-old Harrison, Ohio native after his car made contact with the outside wall and flipped multiple times in turn three.
Owen was the reigning track champion at Lawrenceburg Speedway, scoring two feature wins and the title in 2022. It was Owen’s first crown at the 3/8-mile dirt oval in southeastern Indiana where he’d long been a regular competitor in the sprint car division for the past several seasons.
Among his greatest achievements was a victory in the season-closing Dick Gaines Memorial during his Lawrenceburg championship season in 2022. Back in 2019, Owen collected three victories, one with the Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series at Pennsylvania’s Lernerville Speedway, once at Indiana’s Paragon Speedway, and again at Lawrenceburg’s Night of Champions event. In 2016, he was victorious with BOSS at Lernerville.
With USAC, Owen made two feature starts, both at Lawrenceburg in 2019 and 2021. USAC expresses its deepest condolences to Justin’s family, team, and many friends throughout the racing community.
Lawrenceburg Speedway crash: “Video footage of the crash”
Through social media, a number of individuals from the racing community expressed their sympathies to Owen’s family and friends, including Tony Stewart Racing.
“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,” the race team tweeted.
Brady Bacon, a four-time USAC sprint champion said:
“All racers are part of a big family and he will be missed.” Our thoughts, prayers, and condolences go out to Justin Owen’s family and friends.
Chase Briscoe added:
“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, who raced against Justin quite a bit in sprint cars. Thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.”
NASCAR driver Chase Briscoe also sent his condolences to Owen’s family in a tweet:
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.
Monte Motorsport Sprintcar Team:
SENDING OUR THOUGHTS TO JUSTIN OWEN’S FAMILY… From all of us at Monte Motorsport we are sending our thoughts to all of USAC racer Justin Owen’s family and friends. Justin passed away following a racing accident at Lawrenceburg Speedway Indiana on Saturday night.
When our sport mourns a loss like this we all feel the pain. Justin was a revered, respected, and much-loved member of the USAC and the greater dirt racing community. Monte Motorsport expresses its deepest condolences to Justin’s family, team & friends. Rest in peace, Justin.
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