NASCAR Owner Home After Key West Runway Scare
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KEY WEST (CBSMiami/AP) – NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick and his wife Linda are back home in North Carolina after they suffered minor injuries Monday evening during an emergency landing at Key West International Airport.
Monroe County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Becky Herrin said the pilot and co-pilot of the Gulfstream 150 jet radioed to the airport that the plane’s brakes were failing, moments before the crash landing around 7:45 p.m. The Hendricks were taken to the Lower Keys Medical Center for treatment. Hendricks suffered a broken rib and shoulder, according to the Associated Press. Linda Hendricks had minor cuts and bruises.
The pilot and co-pilot, who were not injured, were also taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure.
The plane is registered to Jimmy Johnson Racing II Incorporated out of Charlotte, North Carolina, according to the Associated Press. Johnson, a five time NASCAR champion, was not on the plane.
“As everybody is aware, there was a brake issue with the airplane landing,” Johnson said. “All four on board are OK and are home back in Charlotte. We are just beyond thankful that everything turned out well with the crash and there weren’t any major injuries down there. It certainly was a scary event — I can only imagine.”
The runway at the airport was shut down for a period of time because the plane ran 100 feet beyond the 600 foot safety zone.
The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified and will be conducting their own investigation.
In addition to Johnson, several other NASCAR drivers including Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon drive cars sponsored by Hendrick.
“It was a real big scare. Very frightening to hear,” Earnhardt told reporters in Las Vegas, “I’m very glad that he and everybody appears to be OK.”
In 2004, Hendrick’s son Ricky, his brother and two nieces were killed when a plane owned by Hendrick crashed in Martinsville, Virginia.
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