Bettenhausen killed in plane crash

CART team owner Tony Bettenhausen has been killed in a plane crash.

Bettenhausen killed in plane crash

The 48-year-old former racing driver, his wife, Shirley, team partner, Russ Roberts and Indianapolis restaurateur Larry Rangel [who also catered for the team] were all killed when their small plane crashed in Kentucky on Monday.

The aircraft was flying the group from Blountville, Tennessee, to Bettenhausen's hometown of Indianapolis, after all four had attended CART's Spring Training session in Florida.

According to reports, the four died on impact.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators are at the scene. It is thought the plane experienced mechanical problems 30 miles short of Lexington.

PacWest team president, Bruce McCaw, has paid tribute to the couple. "The Bettenhausen family has been one of the great competitors in Champ Car racing over many, many years and has made a significant contribution to the sport.

"Tony, Shirley and Russ were good friends and this loss will be significant to the CART community and the sport in general. We will miss them."

Bettenhausen, who made 11 Indy 500 starts during his 12-year racing career, set up his own Champ Car team in 1986. Carl Hogan became co-owner of the squad after closing his own team at the end of 1999.

The team planned to field Michel Jourdain Jr in a Lola-Ford in this year's championship.

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