BRISTOL, Ten. — Dale Earnhardt, Jr., along with his wife Amy, daughter Isla, and two pilots, survived a plane crash in Northeastern Tennessee on Thursday afternoon. The family dog, Gus, was also onboard, and escaped the wreckage.
Earnhardt, Jr. was on his way to Bristol Motor Speedway for his analyst role in the NBC Sports broadcast on Friday and Saturday night. Earnhardt, Jr. retired from full-time NASCAR competition at the conclusion of the 2017 season.
After Earnhardt, Jr.’s private plane, numbered N8JR, slid off the runway while attempting to land at Elizabethton Airport, it came to a halt on Highway 91. At some point, the plane burst into flames.
— Tennessean (@Tennessean) August 15, 2019
A video circulating on social media shows the moment when the survivors exited the smoking plane wreckage.
Earnhardt, Jr. and the other survivors were reportedly brought to a local hospital in Johnson City. He was also reportedly released hours later.
Hours after the incident, NBC Sports released a statement regarding Earnhardt, Jr.’s status for this weekend’s race at Bristol.
NBC, Earnhardt, Jr., and Earnhardt, Jr.’s representatives agreed that it would be best for him to be with his family instead of part of this weekend’s broadcast.
NBC Sports statement on Dale Earnhardt Jr.: pic.twitter.com/O364HDMn3d
— NBC Sports PR (@NBCSportsPR) August 16, 2019
NBC says that Earnhardt, Jr. will return to the broadcast booth in two weeks, at Darlington Raceway.
Earnhardt, Jr. is also scheduled to race that weekend, in the No. 8 JR Motorsports Camaro for the NASCAR Xfinity Series throwback weekend, but there is no word if that status has changed following the incident.
This story may be updated as new information is released.
Columnist / Reporter / Photographer / Webmaster for TheRacingExperts.com