Dale Earnhardt Jr. offered his first public comments to Twitter on Monday since he and his family narrowly escaped serious injury in a violent plane crash last week prior to the race weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.
“Amy and I want to thank everyone (who) has lifted us up with phone calls, messagesÂ and prayer since last Thursday,â the message said. âWe 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.”
Earnhardt was given the week off from his NBC Sports broadcast duties but will return next weekend for the event at Darlington Raceway. He is also scheduled to race in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race that Saturday night.
The scary incident took place on Thursday afternoon whenÂ the plane experienced what was detailed as a ârunway excursion.â The plane — withÂ Dale Jr., Amy, their daughter, dog and two pilots on board — completed a âfirm landingâ at the Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Tennessee, went through a fence and burst into flames.
An investigation into what caused the plane to drive off the runway is currently taking place. National Transportation Safety Board senior investigator Ralph Hicks said during a Friday press conference that the plane bounced twice and the right landing gear collapsed. The investigators have already spoken to both pilots and the Earnhardt family.
The NTSB is expected to release its preliminary report later in the week.