Skip to comments.Mark Martin unhurt when plane skids off runway
Posted on 11/11/2002 12:51:13 PM PST by RedBloodedAmerican
DAYTONA BEACH - Mark Martin and two other people escaped serious injury after his private jet blew a tire and skidded off a runway Sunday night in Phoenix.
Kevin Woods, Martin's Winston Cup public relations representative, confirmed the incident that happened following Sunday's Winston Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway.
"The takeoff had to be aborted and there was some damage to the plane, but no one was injured," Woods said.
There were three people on the Cessna Citation CJ2, a two-engine jet that holds eight, including two pilots.
Jason Simpson was piloting the plane with Martin, who has a license to fly the craft. The lone passenger was Benny Ertel, Martin's business manager.
The jet, which was taking off from Goodyear Airport in Phoenix, had nearly reached liftoff speed when the plane began to yaw, or move from side to side.
"It was real bad," Ertel said. "Jason didn't know if he had lost an engine or a tire blew out and decided to abort the take off."
Simpson killed the engines and applied the brakes and Ertel said the Citation went into a "Talladega skid."
"We went the length of the runway," he said. "As we were sliding along, the other tire blew out. The skidding lasted forever. We're heading right for this electrical box and we all knew we were gonna hit it but the plane stopped like 10 feet short of it."
Just moments after the plane came to a stop, fire engines and rescue crews were on the scene to offer assistance.
"They had to shut the airport down," Ertel said.
With many of NASCAR's teams and officials leaving the area at the same time, Martin and Ertel were able to catch a ride back here on a NASCAR jet with sanctioning body president Mike Helton.
Martin's jet suffered some damage. The airport needed a crane to move the jet off the runway. Simpson plans to take the plane to Cessna's home base in Wichita, Kan., later this week to isolate the problem with the jet.
"The important thing is that everybody is OK," Ertel said. "This could have been much worse."
Martin finished fourth in Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500 in Phoenix. He's 89 points behind leader Tony Stewart in Winston Cup points with one race remaining on the schedule.
Ironically, Stewart's private plane was damaged last week when his jet struck a deer on takeoff from San Antonio, Texas.
yup. that's why nascar will refer to him as winston cup champion next week. it will be an interesting group on the stage in new york.
tony earned it, but i was hoping martin could pull one out.
Maybe they should start putting Viagra in the tires. ;-)
LP suspects freepers are behind it.
FReepers suspect Al Queda...
There was no time to react to information from instruments. Most take-off incidents of this kind result in everyone on the plane being killed.
The pilot made a good decision and everyone walked away from an airplane that will be in service again after modest repairs. Amazing. This almost never happens. These folks were VERY fortunate. Mark Martin should give his pilot a very nice bonus IMO.
I believe it was his mother, father and sister that were killed in a plane accident a few years back .. Also the Team Owner Jack Roush (sp?) was is a nasty plane wreck no long ago and almost died
I'm no Ford fan .. But I was hoping Mark could pull it off .. he's worked hard for it
Oh well .. try again next year
You should hear some of the jokes they make down in the pits about the Viagra car...very funny !
Women and children hardest-hit ...
i hope they take this year as nearly a win and build on it next year.
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