NASCAR in mourning as a country star with ties to the sport has died in a tragic accident

Troy Gentry, one-half of the award-winning  country duo Montgomery Gentry, died in a tragic helicopter crash this afternoon.

The official website of Montgomery Gentry announced the news.

The website noted that Troy Gentry, 50, was killed when his helicopter crashed after takeoff in Medford, NJ.

The popular country music duo had strong ties to NASCAR. Just last year, the duo, which also includes Eddie Montgomery, performed a 60-minute pre-race concert at the Coke Zero 400  during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway.

At the time, Daytona, in a press release, said:

"Having Montgomery Gentry at the 'World Center of Racing' is guaranteed to get our fans ready for the Coke Zero 400. They'll bring great sound and energy and are a perfect way to kick off the festivities we have planned around the Saturday night, prime-time race. The Coke Zero 400 is a true American sports tradition and we're proud to have Montgomery Gentry help us renew that tradition for our fans."

They also performed at the Country 500 at Daytona.