Dale Earnhardt Jr. Will Still Drive in Race Next Week Despite ‘Lots of Swelling’ from Plane Crash
Dale Earnhardt Jr. isn’t letting his recent plane crash stop him from getting behind the wheel.
The race car driver, 37, announced on social media that despite suffering injuries from the frightening plane crash last week, he still plans to compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway on August 31.
A fan asked Earnhardt Jr. on Twitter Wednesday if “with the events of last week are you still racing at @TooToughToTame next week?” Earnhardt Jr. responded, “Yes.”
He added, “I plan on driving still. My lower back is bruised up real bad. Lots of swelling and I just need that to go down and the pain to chill out. I been treating the area every day solely to get well to race. I have a plan B but hope not to use it.”
Earnhardt Jr. and his wife, Amy Earnhardt, and their young daughter, Isla Rose, were in a fiery plane crash in Tennessee on Aug. 15.
The crash reportedly occurred at the Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Elizabethton. “A Cessna Citation rolled off the end of Runway 24 and caught fire after landing at Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Tennessee at 3:40 p.m. today,” an FAA statement read, according to The Tennessean.
An Elizabethton Fire Department official told PEOPLE that Amy, 37, and Dale were transported to the hospital out of an abundance of caution and without serious injuries.
Later, Ralph Hicks, a senior investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, said in a press conference that “the airplane basically bounced at least twice before coming down hard on the right main landing gear. The airplane continued down the runway off to the end, through a fence and it came to a stop on Highway 91.”
Dale shared a statement to both Instagram and Twitter on Aug. 19 after the crash, saying that he was feeling grateful for everyone’s support and well wishes.
“Amy and I want to thank everyone who has lifted us up with phone calls, messages and prayer since last Thursday. We are truly blessed that all on board escaped with no serious injuries, including our daughter, our two pilots and our dog Gus,” he said in the statement.
“With respect to the investigation, we will not be speculating or discussing the cause of the accident. I am thankful for the quick response of my pilots, local law enforcement, emergency personnel and hospital staff,” the father of one continued.
“Lastly Amy and I continue to be very appreciative of the privacy extended to us to process everything. It has been important to do that together and on our own time,” he concluded.
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