Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Releases First Statement Since Fiery Plane Crash

NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. has responded to the harrowing Thursday crash in which he and his family had to evacuate a burning Cessna that had veered off the runway in Tennessee. According to investigators, the plane bounced violently on the runway at least two times before sliding onto a Tennessee highway around 3:40 p.m. Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident as Earnhardt, his family and the pilots all were able to walk away.

Following the accident and evaluation at the hospital, Earnhardt and his family took the weekend off on recommendation of NBC Sports. This gave them time to focus on truly processing what had happened and taking some time to reflect on their blessings. Following a weekend of silence, Earnhardt released a statement and explained that he and his family will not be making any speculation about what had caused the accident.

"Amy and I want to thank everyone who has lifted us up with phone calls, messages, and prayer since last Thursday," Earnhardt said in his statement. "We are truly blessed that all on board escaped with no serious injuries, including our daughter, our two pilots, and our dog Gus. 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. 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."

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While no cause for the accident has been given, there will be a preliminary report released by the investigators in the coming days. They took statements from all of the passengers, as well as the pilots, as part of the process. Whether or not the investigators divulge all of the details is yet to be determined, but they will be providing some semblance of an answer.

Earnhardt retired as a full-time racer in 2017. He was scheduled to be part of NBC's broadcast team for Saturday night's Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. However, NBC Sports said in a statement that it would be best if Earnhardt took the weekend off to be with his family after such an event. Now that he has taken some time away to be with his family, Earnhardt should be returning to work in the near future.