NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his wife were on a plane that crashed at the Elizabethton Airport in Tennessee on Thursday afternoon according to WKRN.com. It was reported that both Earnhardt and his wife are okay and they did not suffer any serious injuries.
Airport manager Dan Cogan said. "a private plane has run off the end of the runway and caught fire." He also said that "all passengers are out of the plane" and emergency crews quickly responded to the crash. The plane crashed the new runway of the airport before bursting into flames.
WJHL reported Earnhardt Jr. was transported to a local hospital but his current condition is unknown.
Earndhardt 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 (via 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.”
Earnhardt's father is the legendary Dale Earnhardt Sr. who is a Hall of Famer. He won the Winston Cup Series seven times which ties him with Richard Petty as the most of all-time. He won total of 76 Winston Cup races and his biggest win was in 1998 when he won the Daytona 500 for the first time.
The Daytona 500 would be last race for Earnhardt Sr. as he passed away while taking part in the event in 2001. He was in an accident in the final lap of the race where he hit the outside wall of the track head-on. Doctors said Earnhardt died instantly of blunt force trauma and he also suffered a basilar skull fracture.