Christopher was one of two passengers aboard the Mooney M20C aircraft traveling from CT to NY when the plane disintegrated near the North Branford-Guilford border just before 2 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed.
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France, released a public statement on Christopher's sudden passing Saturday.
Ted Christopher, a legend of Modified racing, passed away Saturday afternoon at the age of 59 in a plane crash in Guilford, Connecticut. Throughout the course of his racing career, he drove in all three of NASCAR's main series, but he was most known for his success in the Whelen Modified Tour, where he won the championship in the 2008 season. He was a tough racer's racer, and his hard driving style and candid personality endeared him to short track fans throughout the country.
Mr. Christopher was the all-time winningest driver at both Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway, according to the Courant.
Ted Christopher (No. 82 Horton Avenue Materials Chevrolet) was credited with a 17th place DNF in Saturday night's NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour (NWMT) Toyota Mod Classic 150 at Oswego (NY) Speedway. Last Sunday, he recorded his 99th victory on our oval. In 2006, he was selected as one of the top 25 drivers in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series history.
'May Ted rest in peace.
Christopher, who competed in nine of the 12 NWMT races run so far this year, is now 13th in the 2017 championship standings after this event. Ted Christopher was the gold standard when it came to short track racing, specifically the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. The cause of the accident is still being investigated. The information surrounding Christopher's death was confirmed to Speed51.com by a family member at 6:15 p.m. ET.
"Absolute definition of a racer", racer Alex Bowman tweeted.
At Riverhead Raceway, Fox News reports, officials paid tribute to Christopher by driving his auto in a ceremonial lap around the track and then asking for a moment of silence from fans.