NASCAR racing driver killed in plane crash

NASCAR driver Ted Christopher was killed in a small plane crash in Connecticut

Ted Christopher, a legendary driver in NASCAR's modified division ranks and an occasional competitor on the NASCAR national series level, died in a plane crash in his home state of CT on Saturday, Sept. 16. He was just 59 years old.

Christopher was one of two passengers aboard the Mooney M20C aircraft traveling from CT to NY when the plane disintegrated near the North Branford-Guilford border just before 2 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed. One reported seeing a body that had apparently been thrown from the plane.

Fans and drivers paid tribute to Mr. Christopher prior to Saturday's racing in Riverhead. Fans voted him as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour's most popular driver three times. He made six Cup starts (the last in 2009), 21 Xfinity starts (the last in 2001) and two Camping World Truck Series starts (the last in 1999).

NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France, released a public statement on Christopher's sudden passing Saturday.

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Names of the 2 killed are being withheld pending notification of the family. Police said they do not yet know from where the plane took off, or to where it was headed.

The FAA is investigating the crash.

Upon hearing the tragic news of Christopher's death, the NASCAR community reacted, which you can see here. Whitney said Christopher often raced at speed ways in Waterford and Thompson.

NASCAR officials confirmed Christopher and the pilot died when the plane went down near the North Branford-Guilford border. Christopher is one of two drivers to win the NASCAR Whelen All-Amercian Series national title and a touring series championship. He was a tough racer's racer, and his hard driving style and candid personality endeared him to short track fans throughout the country.

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