Ford Racing boss Jamie Allison looked to the ceiling of the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn during a visit by NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Matt Kenseth this morning.
“God bless the angels — they were watching over him,” said Allison, director of Ford North American Motorsports.
Allison was commenting on the latest plane crash involving Roush Fenway Racing’s Jack Roush on Tuesday evening in Wisconsin, leaving the Ford team owner in serious but stable condition.
The 68-year-old Roush, who lives in Northville, was at the controls of his Beechcraft Premier business jet when it landed hard on the runway at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh at 7:15 p.m. and broke in half. Also on board was Brenda Stricklin of Plymouth, Roush’s personal assistant.
Roush, who was seriously injured in a crash while flying a small, experimental plane near Troy, Ala., in 2002, emerged through the door of his Beechcraft with the help of rescue workers. He was bleeding heavily from the face. Stricklin exited the plane moments later. The pair were transported to a local hospital.
“Jack is family,” Allison said. “Edsel (Ford), all the executives and workers — it’s good to know Jack is in good hands and is going to recover. He walked away from a plane crash — that’s hard to imagine. We hope to see him soon.”
Kenseth, who flew his own Citation Mustang two-engine jet from Roush’s race shop in Concord, N.C., to Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti this morning to promote the Carfax 400 Cup event Aug. 15 at Michigan International Speedway, wished Roush the best.
“Racing and aviation are close to Jack’s heart,” said Kenseth, who met with fans at the Henry Ford Museum. “Flying is very close to his favorite thing. I hope he can continue to fly.”
NASCAR will be at Pocono this weekend. Ford Racing spokesman Kevin Kennedy said he doubted Roush will be well enough to attend. Kenseth, who has been at Roush since 1999 and was the 2003 Sprint Cup champion, hopes his boss will make it back to the racetrack soon.
“He supports us and keeps an eye on us there,” said Kenseth. “I hope he makes a quick recovery.”