The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed two people died when a light aircraft, a Mooney M20C, went down in the woods just before 2pm local time on Saturday.
Modified championship racer Ted Christopher was one of two people killed when a small plane crashed in the woods in CT on Saturday, officials said.
On the Whelen tour and on New England short tracks, "Christopher was a throwback to NASCAR's roots", France said in a statement. "He will be missed throughout the racing community". Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends, family and fans of Ted Christopher through these trying times.
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in CT said in a Facebook post Christopher was "one of the greatest modified drivers of all time".
Ted Christopher (No. 82 Horton Avenue Materials Chevrolet) was credited with a 17th place DNF in Saturday night's NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) Toyota Mod Classic 150 at Oswego (NY) Speedway. With 10 career victories, Teddy is one of New Hampshire Motor Speedway's most prolific drivers.
The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the incident. Details of the plane's itinerary were not immediately released.
Christopher, who competed in nine of the 12 NWMT races run so far this year, is now 13th in the 2017 championship standings after this event. In 2006, he was selected as one of the top 25 drivers in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series history.
Before a race tonight at Waterford Speedbowl, General Manager, George Whitney said racers followed Christopher's #13 vehicle as it was driven around the track twice in remembrance of the driver killed in the crash this afternoon.
Upon hearing the tragic news of Christopher's death, the NASCAR community reacted, which you can see here.
"He was a legend", racecar driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. tweeted Saturday night. Track officials planned to honor Christopher by having his vehicle driven for a ceremonial lap followed by a moment of silence.