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NASCAR 167 43 Aviation and NASCAR: Plane crashes 11539685 NASCAR and aviation NASCAR+and+aviation NASCAR

In recent years, as drivers and owners became pilots and as teams needed to be in multiple places over the course of a week, a handful of plane crashes have darkened the sport. Jack Roush has been involved in two of those, surviving each, while others have resulted in great tragedy.

Anthony Wahl - AP Images
NASCAR 167 43 Aviation and NASCAR: Plane crashes 30320968 Hendrick Motorsports - Oct. 31, 2011 Hendrick+Motorsports+-+Oct.+31%2C+2011 NASCAR

On Halloween night a Gulfstream jet owned by Hendrick Motorsports had a crash landing at Key West International Airport. The aircraft carrying owner Rick and his wife Linda ran off the runway. There were no serious injuries.

AP Photo/Monroe County Sheriff's Office, Evan Calhoun - AP Images
NASCAR 167 43 Aviation and NASCAR: Plane crashes 11539684 Jack Roush - July 27, 2010 Jack+Roush+-+July+27%2C+2010 NASCAR

Jack Roush was participating in the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture on July 27, 2010, when he crashed his Beechcraft Premier business jet while attempting to land. Photos from the scene show the plane leaning to the right, then crashing to the left with the tail section breaking away from the rest of the plane. Roush was hospitalized with facial lacerations following the incident.

Todd Warshaw - Getty Images
NASCAR 167 43 Aviation and NASCAR: Plane crashes 11539704 Hendrick Motorsports plane crash - Oct. 24, 2004 Hendrick+Motorsports+plane+crash+-+Oct.+24%2C+2004 NASCAR

Hendrick Motorsports has always been a tight-knit family type of a race team. For the men who work there, it’s much more than a job. The group lost 10 friends and family members on Oct. 24, 2004, when the plane carrying them to the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway crashed on nearby Bull Mountain. Team owner Rick Hendrick lost his brother and team President John Hendrick, his son Ricky Hendrick and John’s twin daughters, Kimberly and Jennifer Hendrick. Also lost in the crash were team general manager Jeff Turner, chief engine builder Randy Dorton, Dupont (Jeff Gordon’s sponsor) executive Joe Jackson, Tony Stewart pilot Scott Lathram and pilots Richard Tracy and Elizabeth Morrison. Jimmie Johnson won the race that day, then was called into a meeting with NASCAR officials and told of the tragedy.

Rusty Jarrett - Getty Images
NASCAR 167 43 Aviation and NASCAR: Plane crashes 11539703 Jack Roush - April 19, 2002 Jack+Roush+-+April+19%2C+2002 NASCAR

On his 60th birthday, Roush was celebrating near Talladega Superspeedway by flying an experimental plane. He crashed into a small pond in nearby Troy, Ala., and his plane flipped into the water. Roush was rescued from the crash by retired Marine Larry Hicks, who actually witnessed the event, rowed out in a boat and dove repeatedly to free Roush from his harness. Roush was hospitalized with significant injuries, but recovered fully and returned to the track within weeks.

Robert Laberge - Getty Images
NASCAR 167 43 Aviation and NASCAR: Plane crashes 11539672 Davey Allison - July 12, 1993 Davey+Allison+-+July+12%2C+1993 NASCAR

Davey Allison was a young gun in the sport, the latest member of the Alabama Gang to find success in the NASCAR Cup series. Born on Feb. 25, 1962, in Hueytown, Ala., Allison took the No. 28 Texaco-sponsored Robert Yates Racing Ford to new heights. He brought the crowd to its feet when he finished second to his father, Bobby, in the 1988 Daytona 500. He would go on to win that race in 1992. Allison tallied 19 wins in 191 started from 1985-93. His career was cut short when he died July 13, 1993 as the result of a helicopter crash in the Talladega Superspeedway infield.

NASCAR 167 43 Aviation and NASCAR: Plane crashes 11539572 Alan Kulwicki - April 1, 1993 Alan+Kulwicki+-+April+1%2C+1993 NASCAR

Alan Kulwicki brought a unique approach to his 1992 NASCAR Cup championship. Born in Greenfield, Wisc., on Dec. 14, 1954, Kulwicki obtained a mechanical engineering degree from the Univ. of Wisconsin and used that to his advantage in the Cup series. An owner/driver, he is known both for his hard-working nature and his incredible comeback in 1992. He trailed in the championship race by 278 points with six races to go that season, then rallied to edge Bill Elliott by 10 points in the closest championship battle in history. Kulwicki never had a chance to defend his title, though. He died as the result of a plane crash en route to the series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 1, 1993.

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