Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family were involved in a plane crash in Tennessee on Thursday afternoon. The good news is everyone was able to escape crash safely and there aren't any serious injuries. However, the aftermath of the plane crash is quite a sight because the plane did catch fire and was essentially destroyed. Photos of the crash have been released and it's safe to say that Earnhardt and his family are fortunate nobody was seriously hurt.
BREAKING PHOTOS: Plane reportedly carrying Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his wife crashes in Elizabethton, Tennessee; both are believed to be okay following the crash - WJHL-TV pic.twitter.com/DpB7CSx4hg— News Breaking LIVE (@NewsBreaking) August 15, 2019
Earnhardt was with his wife, Amy; 15-month old daughter, Isla; a dog and two pilots. The 44-year-old former NASCAR star who is also a NASCAR analyst for NBC Sports was sent to a local hospital for further evaluation and has since been released.
"We're incredibly grateful that Dale, his wife Amy, daughter Isla, and the two pilots are safe following today's accident," NBC Sports said in a statement via ESPN. "After being discharged from the hospital, we communicated with Dale and his team, and we're all in agreement that he should take this weekend off to be with his family.
"We look forward to having him back in the booth next month at Darlington."
The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane, which was a Cessna Citation, rolled off the runway at the Elizabethton Municipal Airport at 3:40 p.m. CT on Thursday after landing which is when the plane caught fire. ESPN said the National Transportation Safety Board is sending two representatives to investigate the crash.
Earnhardt Jr. is considered by many as one of the best drivers in NASCAR history. He won the Busch Series twice and he won the Daytona 500 in 2004 and 2014. Earnhardt Jr. is one of the most beloved figures in NASCAR history as he's been named the organization's Most Popular Driver Award from 2003-2017.
Earnhardt Jr. currently races part-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He recently talked about how NASCAR can regain the popularity it had when he started racing.
The growth of our sport to its peak, that took decades," Earnhardt said, via the Detroit Free Press per NESN.com. "That took more than 10 years, 20 years, that was a 50-years process," he said in a phone conversation Friday, ahead of Sunday's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway. "You can take that apart overnight. It can be broken easily. Building it up again is going to take that same perseverance."