Dale Earnhardt, Jr. met with the media Friday at Darlington Raceway for the first time since he and his family were involved in a fiery plane crash in mid-August.
Earnhardt said, “It’s good to be doing something normal. We’ve been taking some time to ourselves. Things have been very good. My wife loves to be at the races when I’m driving, so her and Isla are going to come and be here.”
The crash took place August 15th in Elizabethton, TN. Earnhardt’s wife, Amy, their young daughter, Isla, and the family dog were on board when the plane slammed into a fence and burst into flames. Earnhardt suffered a bruised back in the accident, but stressed to the gathered media that he has healed and is ready to drive, “I drove a two-seater yesterday for an hour-and-half and didn’t have one issue.”
Earnhardt is scheduled to run in Saturday’s Xfinity Series SportClips Help a Hero 200 in a paint scheme honoring his late father, Dale Earnhardt.
Darlington Raceway is hallowed ground for NASCAR fans and the ideal venue to honor the sport’s history with a throwback weekend as the track features:
- Pearson Tower Grandstands – named after David Pearson, NASCAR Hall of Famer and Darlington Raceway’s all-time wins leader (10).
- Cale Yarborough Garage – The Timmonsville native holds five victories in the famed Bojangles’ Southern 500
- Earnhardt Towers – Named for the Earnhardt family to jointly recognize the accomplishments of Dale Earnhardt (nine wins at Darlington Raceway) and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Many of the questions posed to Earnhardt centered on the plane crash, but he continued to turn the theme back to enjoying his time back at Darlington, “There’s nothing better than being at a race track. I get to relive my past. That’s why I chose Darlington. It’s throwback weekend.”
Earnhardt was engaging and spent nearly twenty minutes answering questions, but he bristled at any notion of sharing his feelings about the crash or if he has viewed the video, “I don’t want to talk about that. I don’t want to get into that … I don’t have any real comment.”
Saturday’s race may not be the last we see of Earnhardt behind the wheel. He made it clear the 2020 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway remains a possibility.
DALE EARNHARDT, JR. AT DARLINGTON RACEWAY: