Sprint car driver Jason Johnson has died following a crash at Beaver Dam Raceway in Wisconsin, race officials said Sunday. He was 41.
Johnson was injured during a World of Outlaws race Saturday night at the one-third-mile dirt oval, the series said. It said the driver from Eunice, La., crashed on lap 18 of a 40-lap race while racing for the lead and was taken to a hospital.
The series tweeted Sunday morning that Johnson had died.
The Jason Johnson Racing team said in a tweet it was “heartbroken and saddened to tell you that we have lost our leader, friend, family member and our hero.”
Condolences poured in on social media. NASCAR drivers woke up to news of Johnson’s death hours before their race in California.
Sad news today on the passing of racer Jason Johnson. Although I never knew him, everyone in motorsports feels like family. Thoughts and prayers to his family— Blake Koch (@BlakeKochRacing) June 24, 2018
We are deeply saddened to hear the news this morning. Jason was a great competitor and friend. Sending lots of love and prayers to Bobbi, Jaxx and all of the Johnson family. Race in peace, Jason.— Kyle Larson Racing (@KLRteam) June 24, 2018
The racing world across all disciplines has lost one of our own......I didn’t personally know Jason Johnson @JasonJohnsonRac, but I do know the bond we all share as racers makes us family. My heart, thoughts, and prayers go out to his family as they navigate the days ahead 🙏🏼— Daniel Hemric (@DanielHemric) June 24, 2018
RIP sir,— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) June 24, 2018
I didn’t know Jason, but that doesn’t matter. He was a racer & a pro at one of the highest levels. His death serves as a constant reminder of the dangers in Motorsport and the special nature of drivers who are willing to risk it all for love of the sport. #Godspeed https://t.co/hG6EFvfMYw
I’ll remember Jason Johnson for his passion he gave 110% everytime he raced he loved our sport and his family we will miss you buddy praying for Bobbi Jaxx and Phil through this tough time we are one big family and our hearts all hurt for you guys. #RIPRaginCajun— Brad Sweet (@BradSweet49) June 24, 2018
Won some races, and championships together. Jason was a great leader for his team and strong man for his family. He went about things his own way and was really fun to watch. Still praying for Bobbi Jaxx Phillip and the rest of the family. Racing is their life. RIP Jason!! pic.twitter.com/6tGfFKcDf1— Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (@StenhouseJr) June 24, 2018
“Won some races, and championships together. Jason was a great leader for his team and strong man for his family,” Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wrote on Twitter. “He went about things his own way and was really fun to watch.”
Tony Stewart Racing said it was heartbroken as it mourned Johnson’s death.
Our hearts are broken today as we mourn the passing of Jason Johnson. While fierce competitors on-track, the racing family has a bond that’s unbreakable. Keeping Bobbi, Jaxx, Jason's team & family in our thoughts & prayers. Godspeed. - Tony Stewart Racing pic.twitter.com/LjjiCN3q6p— Tony Stewart Racing (@TonyStewart_Rcg) June 24, 2018
“While fierce competitors on-track, the racing family has a bond that’s unbreakable,” the team wrote. Johnson won the 2016 Knoxville Nationals in Iowa.
The racing community has seen several drivers die in crashes in recent years.
In 2013, Jason Leffler died following a crash in a New Jersey sprint car race.
The following year, Formula One driver Jules Bianchi suffered head injuries in the Japanese Grand Prix that ultimately cost him his life. Sprint car driver Scott Semmelmann died in 2014 in a wreck during practice at Beaver Dam.
Justin Wilson was killed when he was struck in the head by a piece of debris during an IndyCar race at Pocono in 2015.
A year later, Bryan Clauson died from injuries suffered in a crash during a race in Kansas. The popular Clauson was widely considered the best dirt-track racer in the nation.