Some of NASCAR’s biggest names shared their thoughts on driver killed in plane crash

Some of NASCAR’s biggest names shared their thoughts on driver killed in plane crash

CHARLOTTE, NC (Mike Reader/Charlotte Observer) - The death of modified championship racer Ted Christopher in a plane crash drew an outpouring of reaction in the racing world.

Christopher, 59, was one of two people killed when a small plane crashed in a wooded area in Connecticut on Saturday, NASCAR officials said. Police confirmed Sunday that Christopher was the passenger and identified the pilot, Charles Dundas, 81.

Some of the biggest names in racing shared their thoughts on social media and elsewhere over the weekend.

Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO, called Christopher a "tough, racer's racer" in a statement released late Saturday.

"As a championship driver on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and New England short tracks, Christopher was a throwback to NASCAR's roots," France's statement read. "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."

[CRASH UPDATE: Pilot identified in crash that took NASCAR driver's life]

['RACER'S RACER:' NASCAR driver, pilot killed in Connecticut plane crash]

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Alex Bowman, his designated replacement in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 car, posted tributes to Christopher on Saturday.

Earnhardt called him a "legend," while Bowman tweeted that Christopher was the "absolute definition of a racer."

NASCAR's defending champion Jimmie Johnson and its current points leader Martin Truex Jr. were among the other active racers and teams who tweeted about Christopher.

"Another one of the greats gone too soon," Truex tweeted.

Stewart-Haas Racing marked the tires on their cars for races at Chicagoland with a "TC13" tribute.

Retired racers such as Todd Bodine, Kyle Petty and Michael Waltrip weighed in as well.

"I have always been a big fan of Ted Christopher. I loved his talent, his spirit," Waltrip wrote.

Media outlets and personalities offered their thoughts as well as track officials.

And of course, Christopher's many fans were shocked by the news and offered their prayers and memories on Twitter.