Dale Earnhardt Jr. releases first public statement after plane crashAugust 20, 2019 10:50am

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family were involved in a plane crash Thursday in Tennessee as the private plane they were on ran off the end of the runway and caught fire.

He released his first public comments after the incident Monday.

"Amy and I want to thank everyone who has lifted us up with phone calls, messages and prayers since last Thursday," he wrote in a statement shared on social media. "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.

A plane carrying the retired NASCAR driver, his wife Amy and their daughter Isla went down near Bristol last week.

Elizabethton Airport manager Dan Cogan confirmed a private plane ran off the end of the runway and caught fire, but did say all passengers got out of the plane shortly after the crash happened.

The airport is about 15 miles from Bristol Motor Speedway, the site of the weekend's NASCAR racing.

As Earnhardt noted, the cause of the crash is still being investigated.

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