It is a sad day in the world of motorsports as fans mourn the loss of NASCAR Whelen Modified champion Ted Christopher. The veteran open wheel driver, who was scheduled to compete in the Riverhead 200 at Riverhead Raceway Saturday night, was killed when the Mooney M20C aircraft in which he was traveling crashed in North Branford, CT on Saturday afternoon.
According to authorities, this crash occurred near the North Branford-Guilford, CT border shortly before 2 p.m. Both the pilot – 81-year-old Charles Dundas – and Christopher were killed in this crash. After learning about the loss of one of the top 25 drivers in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series history, NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France issued a statement:
“We are all saddened to learn of the tragic plane crash this afternoon that claimed the lives of NASCAR driver Ted Christopher and the aircraft’s pilot,” he said. “As a championship driver on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and New England short tracks, Christopher was a throwback to NASCAR’s roots. He was a tough racer’s racer, and his hard driving style and candid personality endeared him to short track fans throughout the country. He will be missed throughout the racing community, in the garage and, especially, in the hearts of his many fans. NASCAR has his family and friends in its thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
As fans at Riverhead Raceway paid tribute to the 13-time champion on Saturday night with a moment of silence as Christopher’s No. 82 modified took a memorial lap around New York’s only asphalt short track, tributes continued to pour in from well-known names throughout the sport.
Wow can’t believe the news of Ted Christopher. Thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family. RIP!
— Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) September 16, 2017
So very sad to hear of Ted Christopher’s passing…Greatness passes into Legend #RIP
— Kyle Petty (@kylepetty) September 16, 2017
— Vintage_Modifieds (@Vintage_Mods) September 17, 2017
The 59-year-old competed at every level of the famous American racing series during his 29-year career and is one of two drivers to win the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national title and a touring series championship.
We at RacingJunk.com send our condolences out to each of Christopher’s family and friends as well as our entire motorsports family during this difficult time. Be sure to share your thoughts and memories of this open wheel talent using hashtag #RIPTedChristopher.