Man killed in Janesville crash was former auto racing champion

Kevin Olson
CREDIT: Badger Midget Auto Racing Association
CREDIT: Badger Midget Auto Racing Association

JANESVILLE, Wis. — A 70-year-old man who died after a car crash Friday was a former auto racing champion.

Badger Midget Auto Racing Association confirmed Sunday that five-time BMARA champion Kevin Olson was killed in a crash outside Janesville.

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Olson’s family said that a companion of his is in critical condition.

“Olson, known for his silly antics, quick wit, and eccentric humor found his way into the hearts of motorsports fans around the world,” BMARA said in a statement. “Fans simply loved ‘KO’ and his once-in-a-generation personality will live on in the hearts and minds of racing fans forever.”

A legend of the sport, Olson won two USAC National Midget championships and five “Pepsi Nationals.”

His career spanned 51 years, with his last win coming on July 21, 2019, at the Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie. He was 68 years old at the time.

In 1997, he was inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame, and in 2016 he was inducted into the United States Auto Club Hall of Fame.