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Former NASCAR modified stock car champion Michael Stefanik killed in single-engine plane crash


Former modified stock car star Michael Stefanik was killed in a single-engine plane crash in Connecticut on Sunday, according to authorities.

The tragic accident took place in Sterling after Stefanik’s single-seat Aerolite 103 took off from the Riconn Airport in Rhode Island. Near the state line, Stefanik had been turning back toward the airfield when his plane crashed into a wooded area.

Stefanik, who was 61, won nine NASCAR series championships to tie Hall of Famer Richie Evans for the all-time mark. He holds the Whelen Modified Tour record with 74 victories from 1985 to 2014 and collected 12 victories the Busch North Series.

He also competed in what are now called the NASCAR Xfinity and Gander Outdoors Truck series, taking rookie of the year honors in the truck series in 1999.

“Mike Stefanik was one of the most successful drivers in NASCAR history, but even more so, he was a true representative of our sport,” NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France said in a statement.

“His tough, competitive nature and excellence on the race track won him the admiration of fans and competitors alike.”

With News Wire Services