Dale Earnhardt Jr. Is Back on the Race Track After Surviving Plane Crash

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Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is back on the track!

Just over two weeks after surviving a plane crash, the 44-year-old race car driver got back behind the wheel to compete in the Xfinity Series Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 at Darlington Raceway on Saturday.

Earnhardt, who drove the No. 8 Chevrolet car for JR Motorsports -- which was painted in tribute to his dad, Dale Earnhardt Sr. -- in the South Carolina competition, placed fifth in the race, with Cole Custer taking the win.

Following the race, Earnhardt told NBC Sports that he "had a lot of fun" competing. 

Earnhardt also took to Instagram after the race to share a photo with his wife, Amy, their daughter, Isla, and others.

"After a top 5 run in the @xfinityracing @darlingtonraceway we hit the town parade," he wrote. "Isla and @mrsamyearnhardt got to experience this small town celebration of an amazing race weekend. So thankful!"

On Twitter, he also gushed that the "entire experience couldn't have been better" alongside a pic of himself with his wife and daughter.

After the plane crash, Earnhardt assured fans that he still planned to compete in Saturday's event.

"I plan on driving still. My lower back is bruised up real bad. Lots of swelling and I just need that to go down and the pain to chill out," he tweeted about a week before the event. "I been treating the area every day solely to get well to race. I have a plan B but hope not to use it."

The incident in question happened on Aug. 15 in Tennessee, when the plane he and others -- Amy, Isla, their family dog and two pilots -- were in crashed and caught fire.

Just days later, Earnhardt took to Twitter to thank fans for their well wishes and express gratitude for the first responders.

"Amy and I want to thank everyone who has lifted us up with phone calls, messages and prayer since last Thursday," he wrote. "We are truly blessed that all on board escaped with no serious injuries, including our daughter, our two pilots and our dog Gus."

"I am thankful for the quick response of my pilots, local law enforcement, emergency personnel and hospital," he added. "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." 

Watch the video below for more on Earnhardt.

 

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