Dale Earnhardt Jr. Won’t Be Part of NASCAR Broadcast After Plane Crash
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will not be part of the NBC Sports broadcast of this weekend's race in Bristol, Tenn., after his plane crashed and caught fire on Thursday afternoon (Aug. 16).
The former racer-turned-analyst has decided to take the weekend off — a decision he came to after conversations with NBC Sports. Earnhardt, his wife Amy and their daughter Isla were passengers on a plane that skidded off the runway and through a fence while landing at Elizabethton Municipal Airport at about 3:40PM ET on Thursday. The plane burst into flames, but everyone including the crew and the family's dog escaped without serious injury. The 44-year-old was treated at a local hospital for cuts and bruises.
"After being discharged from the hospital, we communicated with Dale and his team, and we're all in agreement that he should take this weekend off to be with his family," a statement reads. "We look forward to having him back in the booth next month at Darlington."
The FAA and NTSB are investigating the crash. The Tennessean reports that while the plane crashed through the fencing, the cabin doors were not blocked, allowing for an easy escape. Isla is 1 year old, and Amy is 37 years old. The couple married in 2016.
After the accident, several current and former NASCAR drivers offered thoughts and prayers for those affected. Brad Paisley also sent well-wishes wearing Earnhardt's No. 88 baseball cap.
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