Dale Earnhardt Jr. believes in paranormal activity, and believes something otherworldly saved his life after a near-fatal car crash in 2004.
During The Dale Jr. Download podcast, the 43-year-old retired NASCAR driver said he believes in the paranormal, adding, "I think that our personalities and our souls have so much — we’re so much more than just blood vessels, and bone and muscle… Haunted places? Sure.”
Even as he admitted his fans might think he is a "loony," Earnhardt said he believes "somebody pulled me out" of his 2004 car crash.
“And I thought that it was a corner worker because I felt somebody put their hands under my armpits and pull me out of the car,” Earnhardt said, reports PEOPLE. “I didn’t get out. I don’t have any memory of myself climbing out of the car.”
The crash Earnardt was referring to happened during an American Le Mans Series practice session at the Sonoma Raceway in California. During the crash, Earnhardt was stuck sitting in the car as flames surrounded him. According to an Associated Press report at the time, ALMS said Earnhardt suffered second-degree burns on the insides of his legs and on his chin. He spent the night in a local hospital.
"I remember sort of moving like in motion, like going to lean forward and try to climb out of the car, and then something grabbed me under the armpits, pulled me up over the door bars and then let go of me," Earnhardt explained on his podcast. "And I fell to the ground, and there’s pictures of me laying on the ground next to the car. I know that when I got to the hospital, I was like, ‘Who pulled me out of the car? I gotta say thanks to this person,’ because it was a hand! It was physical hands grabbing me! I felt it."
But a stunned Earnhardt learned there was no one there! He said it "would be probably the closest thing" he had to a real paranormal experience, "if it's real."
This is not the first time Earnhardt has talked about an ethereal feeling on the day of that crash. In an interview with CBS News' 60 Minutes, Earnhardt said he thought his father, the great Dale Earnhardt Sr., helped him survive the crash. His father died three years earlier during a crash in the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500.
"I don't want to put some weird psycho twist on it, like he was pulling me out or anything, but he had a lot to do with me getting out of that car. From the movement I made to unbuckle my belt, to laying on the stretcher, I have no idea what happened. How I got out," Earnhardt told 60 Minutes.
He said he remembered telling his public relations man to find the person who pulled him out of the car, but he was told no one helped him get out.
"...I was like, 'That's strange, because I swear somebody had me underneath my arms and was carrying me out of the car. I mean, I swear to God," Earnhardt said.
Was that person his father?
"Yeah, I don't know. You tell me," Earnhardt Jr. said in 2004. "It freaks me out today just talking about it. It just gives me chills."
Earnhardt retired from racing last year and is now working as a NASCAR commentator.
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