Dale Earnhardt Jr. Reacts to Sprint Car Racer Jason Johnson's Passing

Dale Earnhardt Jr. responded to the tragic news of World of Outlaws Sprint car racer Jason Johnson's death on Sunday, offering his condolences to Johnson's family.

"When a racer loses his life, the world of motorsports across all disciplines takes notice and pays its respects," the former NASCAR star wrote on Twitter, retweeting a statement from World of Outlaws. "My heart goes out to Jason, his family, his friends, his competitors, and his fans. Dale Earnhardt Jr. added."

Johnson was racing in the Jim Boyd Memorial race at the Beaver Dam Raceway in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin on Saturday as part of the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series on Saturday when his car flipped at Turn 3 on the backstretch on Lap 18. Since the track had no catch fence in the area, the car flew through the air and crashed through some billboards before landing outside of the track.

Despite his injuries, Johnson was still alive with emergency responders arrived. He was air-lifted to Aurora Medical Center for treatment, and his wife wrote in a message at 12:22 a.m. that he was still alive and fighting.

World of Outlaws announced Johnson's passing at 8:36 a.m. local time.

"The Johnson family has conveyed their appreciation of the prayers and support expressed by the racing community and requests their privacy be respected at this time," the statement read.

Earnhardt was one of many fellow drivers and fans to commemorate Johnson's tragic death. His widow, Bobbi Johnson, announced that a memorial would be held on Wednesday in Rocky Mount, Missouri at the Jason Johnson Racing Shop.

"MEMORIAL will be held for Jason Johnson at his JJR Shop where he made his dirt track shop of Dreams... please come out to take part in the get together to tell JJ stories! Pastor Mark Kessler will hold Prayer at 6:30," the post read. "Everyone is invited FANS, FRIENDS, Jaxx (their son) might call it a PARTY."

Johnson earned 256 victories throughout his career in the 410 sprints, 360 sprints, winged modifieds, stock cars and mini sprints racing classes.

"With the same courage, passion and vigor that he raced with each night, he fought valiantly to the end," Johnson's racing team said in a statement. "His love of life and sprint car racing was only surpassed by his deep and authentic love for his family, friends, competitors and fans. He never met a stranger, and certainly never met anyone that he was not willing to help or provide guidance. It is that giving and caring spirit that we will all forever miss."


Photo: Getty/Sean Gardner