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Bryan Clauson’s family statement: Organ donation helped five patients

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The family of Bryan Clauson thanked supporters for their “prayers and concerns” and stated Wednesday that the donation of the driver’s organs helped five other patients. It marked the family’s first statement since announcing Bryan Clauson’s death Sunday from injuries sustained in a crash at the Belleville Midget Nationals,

The family said the process was made possible by the “comforting” Nebraska Organ Recovery team. Clauson was transported to the Bryan Medical Center West in Lincoln, Nebraska, after his crash in Belleville, Kansas.

Clauson, who was 27, was in the middle of a season-long campaign called “Chase to 200” to compete in 200 races in 2016.

Below is the full statement from Clauson’s family.

“We would all like to thank you for all of your prayers and concerns over the last few days. It provided strength and comfort during a very difficult time for us.

Nothing prepares you for these moments. We have all watched from afar as other families have had to face their own tragedies or been there to support our family and friends as they have spent their own time in the hospital. However, nothing makes you ready to say goodbye. You take each moment as it comes and we could not have made it to this point without all of you.

One of the gifts that Bryan gave us while we sat next to him praying for some good news, was the moment we found out that he was an organ donor. It shouldn’t have surprised us. All of us have felt Bryan’s generosity throughout his life. The gift of life is the most amazing gesture and Bryan will live on not only through us and all the people he touched along the way, but from the lucky individuals that will benefit from Bryan making a decision to be a donor.

It was not lost on our family as we sat huddled around him, holding his hands, comforting him and each other, saying our last goodbye that five families were also sitting in a hospital room somewhere, comforting their loved one and each other while praying for a miracle that Bryan ultimately delivered for them. We are so proud of our Bryan for making this decision.

The Nebraska Organ Recovery team made the entire process very comforting. Their compassion, love, and respect when treating Bryan did not go unnoticed. We want to acknowledge every member of the Nebraska Organ Recovery team. Thank you for loving our Bryan.

If you are a donor, thank you. If you are not, please consider for a moment becoming one. We have seen first hand how amazing it feels on both sides of the coin. It is the greatest gift that one person can give another. We promise.

Again, thank you for all of your thoughts, prayers and friendship. We look forward to seeing you at the races.

Lauren, Tim, Di, Taylor”

Lauren Stewart, the fiancée of Clauson, tweeted this following the statement’s release.

NASCAR has announced that it will make a decal available to Xfinity Series teams this weekend for its race at Mid-Ohio. Clauson competed in 26 Xfinity Series races in 2007 and 2008.

Cup starting lineup at New Hampshire has Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch on front row

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Rivals Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch will share the front row for Sunday’s Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (4 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Keselowski won his 15th career pole – and first since August 2017 – on Friday. He will have Busch start next to him.

MORE: Cup starting lineup

The rivals have had numerous run-ins throughout the their career.

Kurt Busch, who won last weekend at Kentucky, qualified third and is followed by Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney.

Three drivers will start at the rear: Denny Hamlin (backup), Alex Bowman (backup) and Ryan Newman (backup).

Brad Keselowski wins Cup pole at New Hampshire

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Brad Keselowski scored his first Cup pole since 2017, taking the top spot Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Keselowski topped the field with a lap of 136.384 mph. This is Keselowski’s 15th career Cup pole and first since Michigan in August 2017, a span of 68 races.

Keselowski’s run denied Toyota its first pole of the season. Keselowski will be joined on the front row by Kyle Busch (136.311 mph).

MORE: Cup qualifying results

Kurt Busch, who won last weekend at Kentucky, will start third after a lap of 136.238 mph. Erik Jones qualified fourth with a lap of 136.189 mph.

Jones’ performance is part of a promising week for him. He stated Friday that he is “close” to signing an extension with Joe Gibbs Racing. Jones’ contract expires after this season.

Ryan Blaney completed the top five with a lap of 136.116 mph. Martin Truex Jr. qualified sixth at 136.082 mph, and Matt DiBenedetto qualified a career-best seventh at 135.990 mph. DiBenedetto’s previous best Cup start was ninth in this year’s Daytona 500.

Alex Bowman had a driveshaft failure on his qualifying run and did not complete a lap. He will start at the rear of the field.

“Just a big boom going down the front straightaway and smoke and oil everywhere,” Bowman told NBCSN.

Bowman will go to a backup car.

Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman also will start at the rear of the field because they both went to backup cars after separate incidents late in Friday’s only Cup practice session.

Andy Seuss (qualified 35th) and Austin Theriault (36th) both will be making their Cup debut Sunday.

Daniel Hemric qualified 19th. HIs car failed inspection twice before qualifying and a crew member was ejected.

 

Erik Jones ‘close’ to re-signing after meeting with Joe Gibbs this week

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LOUDON, N.H. – After meeting with team owner Joe Gibbs this week, Erik Jones believes he finally is “close” to signing an extension with the team after a few months of negotiations.

“We’ve had some good meetings, positive meetings, so we’re moving in the right direction,” Jones said during Friday afternoon’s qualifying session at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “I’d love to get it done here soon. We’ve had good meetings between my guys and JGR. I’ve had good meetings with Coach talking about it and moving forward. I know I keep saying it, but I feel like we’re pretty close to getting it done.”

The uncertainty for the 2020 season seemingly has been no distraction in 2019 for Jones, who believes he is close to ending a yearlong winless streak. He has notched six top 10s in the past nine races to move into the 16th and final provisional spot for the playoffs with seven races remaining in the regular season.

The Byron, Michigan, native said he told Gibbs “I want to get (the extension) done. We both want to get it done and move forward and stop worrying about it and stop focusing on it, but we’re close. Hopefully here soon.”

An extension for Jones would mean JGR has a full lineup of four drivers signed for 2020 and shift the focus to what is next for Xfinity driver Christopher Bell, who is under contract to JGR next season.

“I think you know as much as I do,” Bell said Friday morning when asked about what series he will race next year. “Actually, you probably know a little bit more than I do. Ultimately, it’s not up to me. I can’t make the decisions, so I’m just along for the ride.”

Bell indicated his desire to move to Cup last season, and a Leavine Family Racing Toyota could be an option if JGR wants to farm him out for 2020 in NASCAR’s premier series.

“I learned early on in my career that a race car driver is only as good as the equipment,” Bell said. “I definitely want to make sure that I’m in equipment that can win.”

Jeffrey Earnhardt releases his remaining races for 2019

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Jeffrey Earnhardt announced his schedule for the rest of the season Friday.

He is scheduled to run six Xfinity races and one Cup race the rest of this season.

His Xfinity races will be Mid-Ohio (Aug. 10), Bristol (Aug. 16), Road America (Aug. 24), Darlington (Aug. 31), ISM Raceway (Nov. 9) and Miami (Nov. 16). He’ll drive the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Xfinity car at Mid-Ohio, Road America, ISM Raceway and Miami. He’ll drive the No. 81 Xtreme Concepts Racing car at Bristol and Darlington.

He’ll also drive the No. 81 Xtreme Concepts Racing Cup car at Talladega on Oct. 13.