Rick Hendrick, owner of Nascar team Hendrick Motorsports, his wife, and the two crewmembers suffered minor injures when their Gulfstream G150 overran the runway while landing last night at Key West (Fla.) International Airport. The jet, N480JJ, is registered to Jimmie Johnson, who drives for Hendrick Motorsports. Unconfirmed media reports indicate that the aircraft brakes failed on landing.
The men and women who race cars on the Nascar circuit are addicts. They’re addicted to speed, addicted to the visceral rush of being first. Addicted to the buzz that comes from leading a pack of 750-hp, V-8-powered, steel-chassis racecars covered with frail fiberglass eggshells reinforced by layers of corporate logos.
The NTSB is in the preliminary stages of its investigation into two separate business aircraft accidents on October 24 that killed 15 people. At about 12:30 p.m., a King Air 200 owned and operated by Hendrick Motorsports crashed near Martinsville, Va., while en route to a Nascar race that afternoon, killing all 10 aboard.
When big crowds transit through Wilson Air Center’s Charlotte, N.C. FBO it’s usually because there is a Nascar race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. On March 2, however, the 650 people who filled the Wilson hangar came to see not race cars but a gathering of very light jets and jet mockups.