Dale Earnhardt Jr. releases statement after fiery plane crash: 'We are truly blessed'

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family are still likely processing and recovering from a crash on Thursday that resulted in Earnhardt's private plane catching fire just off the runway at a Tennessee airport. Luckily, the NASCAR star, his wife Amy, their daughter and the pilots on board were all able to walk away from the incident without serious injury. 

On Monday, Earnhardt Jr. released a statement regarding the crash, saying his family is "truly blessed" to have escaped the incident while also making sure to thank those who have helped in the recovery process. 

"Amy and I want to thank everyone who has lifted us up with phone calls, messages and prayer since last Thursday," said Earnhardt Jr. "We 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."

On Thursday afternoon, it was reported that Earnhardt's private aircraft had rolled off the end of a runway at the Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Tennessee, catching fire and billowing black smoke shortly after impact. All five people (and one dog) on board were able to quickly exit the plane and get to safety before being transported to a nearby hospital for further evaluation. 

Over the weekend, NASCAR reached out to the first responders who assisted in the crash and gave them free tickets to Saturday's race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Pete Blackburn is from Boston, so there's a good chance you don't like him already. He has been a writer at CBS Sports since 2017 and usually aims to take a humorous and light-hearted approach to the often... Full Bio

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