Tony Stewart Racing driver Ashlea Albertson killed; road rage blamed – USA TODAY

Ashlea Albertson, an Indianapolis-based racer who drove for Tony Stewart Racing, died after sustaining injuries in a crash on Interstate 65 Friday morning, Stewart and her family shared. She was 24.
Todd Albertson, Ashlea’s father, posted a video to Facebook sharing the news of her death with the racing community because “all she wanted to do was put on a show”.
“She was a good kid, a better person, and she just loved racing.” Albertson said. “She loved the community, and you all have done so much for her. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Ashlea Albertson raced TQ Midget cars and last competed on Aug. 11, according to her statistics.
Stewart, who was a teammate to Albertson, honored the “great race car driver” on his social media. He encouraged drivers to think twice before acting on road rage, in Albertson’s honor.
“In the past, I’ve also gotten caught up in road rage,” Stewart said in a post. “I hope that we can honor Ashlea by controlling what we can control on the highway. Losing her is a sobering reminder of how precious life is.”
The initial investigation by Indiana State Police found the crash resulted from two drivers accelerating rapidly and refusing to allow the other vehicle to pass on northbound I-65 near the 48-mile marker, south of Seymour.
Albertson was a passenger in one of those cars, driven by Jacob Kelly, 31, of Indianapolis, travelling in the left lane. The other car, driven by Austin Cooper, 22, of Austin, Indiana, was in the right lane.
According to the State Police, Cooper began to change lanes into the path of Kelly’s car. Kelly lost control of the car, and it spun, resulting in both cars colliding in the middle of the northbound lanes.
Kelly’s vehicle rolled, resulting in Albertson being thrown from the car, according to the State Police.
Kelly and Albertson were flown to the University of Louisville Hospital for treatment. She was pronounced deceased upon arriving. Kelly was being treated for non-life-threatening injuries, according to ISP. Cooper and a juvenile passenger were transported to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour and treated for non-life-threatening injuries
Both drivers in the crash submitted to blood tests, according to ISP, and toxicology results are pending.
The investigation remains ongoing. At the conclusion of the investigation, the case will be presented to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office for review for possible charges.
Albertson started an affinity for racing as young as 10 years old, when her dad’s friend invited them to a track where drivers could try out midget cars, she shared with the Greenfield Reporter in 2021.
Rachel Fradette is a suburban education reporter at IndyStar. Contact her at or follow her on Twitter at @Rachel_Fradette.
Contact IndyStar reporter Ko Lyn Cheang at or 317-903-7071. Follow her on Twitter: @kolyn_cheang.