Mike Stefanik, one of the most successful drivers in NASCAR history, died in a plane crash on Sunday. He was 61.

Stefanik was killed when a plane crashed near the border of Rhode Island and Connecticut. The Rhode Island driver won seven Modified Tour championships and last competed in 2014.

“Mike Stefanik was one of the most successful drivers in NASCAR history, but even more so, he was a true representative of our sport,” NASCAR CEO Jim France said in a statement. “His tough, competitive nature and excellence on the race track won him the respect and admiration of fans and competitors alike. His career stretched more than 30 years, bridging the generations between Jerry Cook and Richie Evans to our current drivers. He recorded achievements in this sport that are likely untouchable, and his legacy as a champion will endure. We will keep his wife Julie and his family and friends in our prayers.”

Stefanik was on the list of nominees for the 2020 NASCAR Hall of Fame class. He won his first Modified Tour championship in 1989 and won his ninth in 2006 at the age of 48

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