From Mike Stefanik's sister Theresa: Michael was flying a friend's plane; engine failed when he was bringing it in to land. He crashed hard, was talking about the engine and what went wrong as they put him in ambulance. Multiple injuries and inhaled fire, he passed at 6:41p.
— Mike Joy (@mikejoy500) September 16, 2019
ORIGINAL POST: Seven-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion and short track racing legend Mike Stefanik was killed in a plane crash Sunday in Sterling, CT.
Stefanik was 61 years old.
According to multiple news reports, Stefanik crashed while piloting a single engine, single seat Aero Ultra-Light plane The crash took place took place in Sterling, CT near the Rhode Island border. The plane had taken off from RICONN Airport in Coventry, R.I.
Stefanik last ran on the Whelen Modified Tour in 2014. He is the division’s all-time winningest driver with 74 career victories in 453 starts from 1985 to 2014. In addition to his seven Whelen Modified Tour titles (1989, ’91, ’97, ’98, 2001, ’02, ’06), Stefanik also won championships on the former Busch North Series (now K&N Pro Series East) in 1997 and 1998.
He ran one full-time season in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series in 1999.
— Race Day CT —
We are saddened to hear the news about nine-time NASCAR Champion and NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Mike Stefanik’s passing. NASCAR statement: pic.twitter.com/VqRBxBpB18
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) September 16, 2019
Sad news from the @NASCAR community.
Mike Stefanik, a seven-time Modified and two-time K&N Pro Series East champion has died in a plane crash. He was 61. pic.twitter.com/HWLxD2Zs57
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) September 16, 2019