SEVERE WX : Red Flag Warning View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Former NASCAR champ Mike Stefanik dies in plane crash

Nine-time NASCAR champion Mike Stefanik died while piloting a single-seat Aerolite 103 plane out of an airport in New England.

Posted: Sep 16, 2019 12:00 PM
Updated: Sep 16, 2019 12:00 PM

Mike Stefanik, a nine-time NASCAR champion and NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee, died Sunday in a plane crash, according to the stock-car racing organization. He was 61.

According to Connecticut State Police, an Aerolite 103, single-engine, single-seat plane took off from Riconn Airport just over the state line in Rhode Island on Sunday. Police say the ultralight plane, while turning back toward the airfield, crashed into a wooded area adjacent to the airport in Sterling, Connecticut.

NASCAR said it was Stefanik who died in the crash.

"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 on the NASCAR website. "His tough, competitive nature and excellence on the race track won him the respect and admiration of fans and competitors alike. His career stretched more than 30 years, bridging the generations between Jerry Cook and Richie Evans to our current drivers. He recorded achievements in this sport that are likely untouchable, and his legacy as a champion will endure. We will keep his wife Julie and his family and friends in our prayers."

According to NASCAR, Stefanik was the winningest driver in the history of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. He won that circuit championship in 1989, 1991, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2006. He also won the Busch North -- now known as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East -- titles in 1997 and 1998.

His nine overall NASCAR championships are tied with Evans for most in NASCAR history.

Police did not give a cause of the crash, which remains under investigation.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 40443

Reported Deaths: 635
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah8743155
Marion5590106
Washington546973
Umatilla329543
Clackamas299065
Lane221226
Malheur186634
Jackson15556
Deschutes107413
Yamhill95615
Linn76414
Polk63915
Jefferson5979
Morrow5426
Lincoln50913
Union4582
Benton4186
Klamath4013
Wasco33515
Douglas3314
Hood River2721
Josephine2583
Columbia2491
Clatsop2340
Coos2290
Baker1132
Crook872
Tillamook700
Curry561
Wallowa402
Lake340
Sherman180
Harney170
Gilliam110
Grant100
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 893364

Reported Deaths: 17256
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2940656956
Riverside653861279
San Bernardino615501070
Orange578481434
San Diego53498866
Kern33630415
Fresno30328430
Sacramento24957480
Santa Clara23679385
Alameda23001456
San Joaquin21473488
Contra Costa18342240
Stanislaus17455395
Tulare17365282
Ventura14050160
Imperial12668336
San Francisco12000138
Monterey1122586
San Mateo10961157
Santa Barbara9688119
Merced9415154
Sonoma9099134
Kings818683
Solano724974
Marin7038128
Madera494574
San Luis Obispo409232
Placer405257
Yolo311958
Butte304151
Santa Cruz274425
Napa191815
Shasta183930
Sutter183012
San Benito141915
El Dorado13064
Yuba128810
Mendocino111821
Tehama8248
Lassen7641
Lake67815
Glenn6493
Nevada6018
Humboldt5619
Colusa5496
Calaveras33917
Amador31316
Tuolumne2584
Inyo22015
Siskiyou1870
Mono1762
Del Norte1751
Mariposa782
Plumas630
Modoc280
Trinity250
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 64°
Brookings
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 72°
Crater Lake
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 54°
Grants Pass
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 64°
Klamath Falls
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 54°
Frosty morning, mild afternoon
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Friday, October 23 afternoon weather

Image

Friday, October 23 morning weather

Image

Thursday, October 22nd Evening Weather

Image

False FEMA Claims

Image

In the Kitchen: Zucchini Lasagna

Image

In the Kitchen: Chicken Stir Fry

Image

Pet of the Week: Soda Pop and Cherry

Image

Thursday, October 22 afternoon weather

Image

Fire District 3 Community Care Response Unit

Image

OSF costume sales