Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he was “feeling great” Friday, just over two weeks after he, his wife Amy and daughter Isla walked away from their plane that crash-landed at a Tennessee airport.
Junior and his family were en route to Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 15 when their plane bounced and skidded off the runway at the Elizabethton (Tenn.) Municipal Airport. Both pilots were also able to walk off the plane as it caught fire as well as the Earnhardts’ dog. No one sustained any serious injuries in the crash.
“Very lucky and very thankful that we’re able to carry on and plan the rest of our lives and feel very lucky of course,” Earnhardt Jr. said Friday at Darlington. “Without a doubt. It’s hard to overstate that.”
Junior was transported to a local hospital after the crash but was released a short time later. He took the weekend off from his regular broadcasting duties with NBC. He did not address any of the details of the crash during his media availability on Friday.
Earnhardt Jr. is set to race in Saturday’s Xfinity race at Darlington in his only NASCAR start of the season. He’s made one Xfinity Series start per season since retiring from the Cup Series at the end of the 2017 season. He raced at Richmond last year and said Friday that he’s looking at Homestead in 2020 if all goes well on the sponsor front. He’s driving the No. 8 car for his JR Motorsports team in Saturday’s race.
Junior admitted last week that his back was sore from the crash but said Friday that he was good to go and had no issues on Thursday when he was driving a different car around the track.
“My back healed really quickly,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “Got some great treatment and help from doctors there to get — I drove a two-seater yesterday for an hour-and-a-half and didn’t have one issue with soreness back there and that seat’s not even my seat. So this seat should be formed to me and very comfortable and should be no problem.”
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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