posted on Oct, 24 2004 @ 06:35 PM
Ten confirmed dead in Hendrick Motorsports team plane crash
By JIM UTTER KYTJA WEIR AND BINYAMIN APPELBAUM
ThatsRacin.com and The Charlotte Observer
A Hendrick Motorsports plane carrying two pilots and eight other passengers crashed into a mountain Sunday afternoon en route to the Subway 500 NASCAR
Nextel Cup race in Virginia.
Ten people were confirmed dead, including four relatives of Hendrick Motorsports CEO Rick Hendrick: His son Ricky Hendrick, his brother John Hendrick,
and John's twin daughters Jennifer and Kimberly. John, 53, was the president of Hendrick Motorsports. Ricky owned a Busch Series NASCAR team and ran
Performance Honda of Pineville, a motorcycle dealership.
Also killed in the crash were five Hendrick Motorsports employees: General Manager Jeff Turner, Randy Dorton, the chief of the company's engine
program, engineer Scott Latham and company pilots Dick Tracey and Liz Morrison. The 10th victim was Joe Jackson, an executive with DuPont, which
sponsored Jeff Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports car.
The plane had left the Concord Regional Airport, where the company has a hangar, and was headed to the Martinsville, Va., airport for the race where
four of the company's teams were competing.
The plane crashed into Bull Mountain, about 10 miles west of the airport, shortly after 12:30 p.m., FAA officials said.
Emergency teams in Patrick County, Va., responded, but the plane appeared to have crashed in a remote area, said Keith Holloway, a National
Transportation Safety Board spokesman. Holloway estimated that federal officials wouldn't be able to reach the crash site until Monday morning.
It remains unclear what caused the crash of the Beech 200 King Air plane, he said. In the past five years, 12 similar models have crashed around the
world, killing their passengers, according to NTSB records.
The plane was among a fleet owned by the North Carolina motorsports company. Hendrick had four teams competing in Sunday's race with drivers Jeff
Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Terry Labonte and Brian Vickers.
In 20 years of competition, Hendrick Motorsports has garnered five NASCAR Winston Cup Series (now Nextel Cup) championships, three NASCAR Craftsman
Truck Series titles and one NASCAR Busch Series crown, making it one of stock-car racing's premier organizations.
Rick Hendrick is just the second team owner in NASCAR's modern era to earn more than 100 Cup Series victories.
More than 400 employees call Hendrick Motorsports home, and day-to-day activities include management of HendrickMotorsports.com, the
15,000-square-foot museum and team store, marketing, public relations, sponsor services, licensing, show cars, merchandising, and much more