Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he still plans to race next weekend at Darlington Raceway, despite acknowledging that he is suffering from pain in his lower back since the accident involving his private jet in Tennessee last week.
Earnhardt announced months ago that he was going to get back behind the wheel driving the No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet in the Aug. 31 Xfinity Series race in NASCAR’s “throwback weekend” at Darlington, in a paint scheme inspired by the one his father Dale Earnhardt Sr. ran in his first NASCAR Cup Series start on May 25, 1975 at Charlotte. However, a fan on Twitter asked Earnhardt if his plans had changed following the airplane incident.
Plan B, Earnhardt said in a response to another fan, would be someone else driving the car.
Earnhardt and his family, along with his two pilots, escaped serious injury in the accident. Earnhardt did not work the broadcast last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway and has been recovering at home. A statement released on his social media channels Monday has been his only public comments about the crash.
Should Earnhardt race at Darlington, it would be his first NASCAR start of the season. The two-time Xfinity Series champion also made a lone start last season when he competed at Richmond.