Dale Earnhardt Jr. offered his first comments via Twitter on Monday evening after he and his family escaped serious injury in a frightening plane crash late last week.
“Amy and I want to thank everyone has lifted us up with phone calls, messages, and prayer since last Thursday,” the message said. “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.”
Earnhardt was traveling to Bristol Motor Speedway when the plane experienced what was described as a “firm” landing at the Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Elizabethton, Tenn., went through a fence and burst into flame.
The investigation has already begun. NTSB senior investigator Ralph Hicks said during a Friday press briefing that it could be seen on video that the plane bounced at least twice and the right main landing gear collapsed. Both pilots as well as the Earnhardt family have already spoken to investigators.
The NTBS is expected to release a preliminary report on the accident later this week.
Earnhardt is scheduled to return to his broadcast duties Labor Day weekend at Darlington Raceway, and he is also scheduled compete in the Xfinity Series race that weekend.