Dale Earnhardt Jr. still hopes to race next weekend at Darlington Raceway but needs to fully recover from injuries sustained during his plane crashÂ last week for this to occur.
Earnhardt scheduled his only racing appearance of the season for the NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Darlington but is still suffering bruising and swelling from the runway excursion that took place upon landing at Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Tennessee near Bristol Motor Speedway.
Earnhardt, wife AmyÂ and daughter IslaÂ were passengers inside the JR Motorsports-owned Cessna Citation that experienced a hard landing, bounced twice and rolled off the runway through a fence that separated the tarmac from a nearby highway.
Despite the plane catching fire, the passengers and two pilots avoided serious injury. The incident is currently being investigated by the National Transportation Security Board. An initial report is expected to be released by the end of the week.
Responding to a fan question on Twitter, Earnhardt reaffirmed his desire to race the JR Motorsports No. 8 that was designed with a Ralph Earnhardt tribute paint scheme.
Earnhardt retired from full-time NASCAR Cup Series competition following the 2017 season but still had a one-raceÂ per season agreement with Hellmannâs that he agreed to honor. He led 96 laps and finished fourth at Richmond Raceway last September.
The race at Darlington was the same deal.
Earnhardt is a two-time Xfinity Series champion, winning back-to-back titles in 1998 and 1999. He is the owner of JR Motorsprots, and the No. 8 is the teamâs part-time star car. It fields full-time entries for Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson and Michael Annett. Â