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Superyacht owner: Rick Hendrick, Superyacht and NASCAR Owner Injured in Plane Crash

Dark photograph of a private jet that crashed. Entire jet is still in one piece, but one wing is in a canal.



Rick Hendrick, owner of NASCAR team Hendrick Motorsports and the 164′ Trinity motor yacht WHEELS, escaped with only a broken rib and broken clavicle (collarbone) when his small plane lost its brakes and crash landed at Key West International Airport late Monday.  Hendrick’s wife, Linda, suffered minor cuts and bruises. 

Photograph of Rick and Linda Hendrick of Hendrick Motorsports


The plane is registered to Jimmie Johnson Racing Inc. of Charlotte, N.C., and co-owned by Hendrick Motorsports and Johnson, the five-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion



The Hendricks were the only two passengers on the Gulfstream 150 jet.  Co-pilots, James Klepper and Jay Luckwaldt, also escaped without serious injuries in the Monday night crash. All four were taken to Lower Keys Medical Center shortly after the 7:45 p.m. (19:45) incident, where they were evaluated, treated, and released. All flew home to North Carolina on Tuesday morning.



According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Klepper announced he had “no brakes,” and when he attempted to brake, he also had no pressure. The jet skidded off the 4,800-foot runway and came to rest about three feet from an airport perimeter fence.

Photograph of profile of yacht Wheels running with 2 jetskis running alongside. Hull of yacht is solid white with multiple oval and angled windows.


Hendrick, the patriarch of  one of NASCAR’s most successful race teams, is also well known in the megayacht community.  His Trinity yacht charter vessel, motor yacht WHEELS (whose tenders are appropriately given monikers such as “Hot Wheels” and “Reel Wheels”) is available for hire in the Florida Keys and throughout the Bahamas.  The 164 foot (50 meter) yacht offers accommodation for up to ten guests in six suites comprising one owner cabin, two VIP cabins, two double cabins, and one twin cabin. 

Aerial photograph of Wheels 164 and Reel Wheels running side by side

Hendricks added a 24-meter (80′) superyacht sportfish tender to the megayacht’s already impressive inventory of watertoys.



After Monday’s crash, the runway closed for about an hour.  It reopened when authorities determined the wreckage did not impact the landing area. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident. Per Dale Earnhardt Jr,

“It was a real big scare, very frightening to hear,” Hendrick Motorsports driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. told reporters in Las Vegas while attending an automotive trade show. “I’m very glad that he and everybody appears to be okay.”


To charter a yacht for hire in the Bahamas, contact us.  Call 1-800 Yacht Charters or go to now for a free consultation.

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About admin

Ms. Jana Sheeder is President of 1-800 Yacht Charters. Providing The Superyacht Experience(tm) since 1976. Private luxury yacht charter vacations in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Bahamas, South Pacific, South Florida, Miami and The Florida Keys, Italian Rivera, Belize. Megayacht charter company focused on generosity, Pay It Forward, Random Acts of Kindness, Giftivism, giving back to the ocean, to the needy, and the environment with every superyachting charter. Providing eco-friendly alternatives while on yacht charters and known for 6-star customer service, experience, and generosity.

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