Kevin Olson, a two-time USAC National Midget Champion, was killed recently in a car crash at Janesville, Wisconsin.
Mainstream news detailing the fatality has been released only in the past couple of days.
The head-on road accident also critically injured wife Nancy, according to multiple reports. Olson, 70, had retired from racing in 2020.
The family released a statement via social media on Saturday:
“On behalf of the entire Olson family, it is with our deepest sadness to report some devastating news at this time. Kevin Olson, our father and brother, and everybody’s friend, was killed on Friday night in a highway crash. His dear companion, Nancy, is in critical condition.
“Most of Kevin’s friends knew him through racing; he was a two-time United States Auto Club National Midget Champion, and a five-time champion with the Badger Midget Auto Racing Association. But as proud as he was of those accomplishments, what made him happiest was his connection to family and friends, most of whom had probably come to believe that he was invincible.
“Right now, we are just dealing with the shock of this news. Arrangements are pending and will be made available in the coming days. Please respect our family’s privacy at this time.”
Olson, who resided in Evansville, Wisconsin, is a member of both the United States Auto Club (USAC) Hall of Fame and the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame. He began his career on the national stage in a USAC National Midget race in 1972 at Springfield (Illinois) Speedway. His final national USAC National Midget race was 2014 at Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.
Our hearts are broken,” said Chris Blair, executive vice president and general manger of World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois. “The racing community lost a legend. Our friend Kevin Olson thrilled us on the track and made us laugh off the track. The entire Olson family is in our thoughts and prayers.”
In addition to the two National Midget championships, Olson is known for the incredible way in which he won the title in 1982. Driving for car owner Lee Carey, Olson became the first champion in series history to win the season points championship despite not winning a single feature race. He’s the only driver to win series national champion before winning his first race. it was his remarkable consistency that earned Olson the title that year.
Olson went on to win 23 USAC National Midget races in his career.