Earnhardt Jr.: 'I plan on driving' in Xfinity race at Darlington after plane crash

Dale Earnhardt Jr. said Wednesday that he plans to compete in next week's NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway despite his continued recovery after surviving a fiery plane crash last week in Tennessee.

>> Read more trending news

Earnhardt, his wife and their daughter survived a frightening small-plane crash Aug. 15 while traveling to Bristol Motor Speedway.

Nobody was seriously hurt in the crash, but Earnhardt skipped his broadcast duties as an analyst on NBC Sports to focus on recovering with his family at home in Mooresville.

He wrote in a Twitter post Wednesday that his lower back was bruised after the crash, but said he's been treating the area daily.

Earnhardt, who has been named NASCAR's most popular driver a near-record 15 times, retired from full-time NASCAR competition at the end of the 2017 season, according to NASCAR.com. That year he became an on-air analyst and contributor for the NBC Sports Group.

After the move, Earnhardt still had a pair of Xfinity Series races on his schedule for his JR Motorsports team, according to NASCAR.com: one last year at Richmond Raceway and one this year at the Darlington Raceway.

Earnhardt released a statement on Monday and also topped a previously recorded episode of the "Dale Jr. Download" podcast with a message thanking his fans for their love and support and for giving his family privacy.

The Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway is scheduled for Aug. 31 at 4 p.m.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

About the Author