One of the most successful open wheel modified drivers in NASCAR history died in a plane crash this past weekend near the border of Connecticut and Rhode Island. The 61-year-old driver, who became famous for arguing with Steve Park after he bumped Stefanik at the conclusion of the 2013 Battle UNOH Battle at the Beach, was piloting a single-engine ultralight aircraft when it crashed in a field near the border of Connecticut and Rhode Island.
A witness noticed the aircraft flying near the tops of trees before it crash landed in the Connecticut field. Despite being conscious when emergency responders arrived, Stefanik died at a nearby hospital shortly after arrival.
Following his death, both NASCAR officials and drivers have begun to offer their support and condolences.
“Mike Stefanik was one of the most successful drivers in NASCAR history, but even more so, he was a true representative of our sport,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France.
Retired NASCAR Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., who recently survived his own frightening plane crash, also expressed his sorrow.
“This just breaks my heart,” said Earnhardt. “I hope that his family and friends can find some peace and comfort in the coming days.”
We at RacingJunk send our condolences to this driver’s friends and family as well as his entire racing family. We’ll provide additional news about this crash as it becomes available.