NASCAR Driver Greg Biffle was involved in his second crash of the season Wednesday, this time on a Lexington airport runway.
Biffle and two pilots were not injured when a landing-gear malfunction caused his plane to partially collapse while landing at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, according to a news release from NASCAR.com.
In a phone interview with Nascar Now on ESPN2, Biffle said he looked out the window and noticed the left wing rising into the air, and the right wing dragging the runway and sending up sparks.
Biffle called his pilots "heroes" for preventing the plane's wing from leaving the runway and dragging in the grass, which could have caused the plane to flip over.
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"My pilots did a remarkable job," he said.
Amy Caudill, a spokeswoman for the airport, said the private plane's right landing gear collapsed as it was taxiing at 10:52 a.m. Caudill said the airport did not classify the incident as a crash; it was a "mechanical failure," she said.
The plane was landing on the airport's main commercial runway. The runway was closed for about two hours while crews towed the plane and cleaned up debris, she said.
Battalion Chief Marshall Griggs of the Lexington fire department said the department used airbags to prop up a wing of the plane, allowing workers to lower the landing gear so it could be towed off the runway.
Five flights were affected, including a plane that was in the air and had to divert to Louisville until the runway was clear, she said. Several departures were delayed.
Biffle, who races for Roush Fenway Racing team, was one of 12 drivers involved in a crash during the Daytona 500 on Feb. 21, and he is 31st in the driver standings. He finished sixth in 2010.
Biffle lives in Mooresville, N.C. He was in Lexington on business, a Nascar spokeswoman said.