Dale Earnhardt Jr. tweets first statement since surviving plane crash

Plane crashed into fence at end of runway

By Amir Vera, CNN
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

(CNN) - Dale Earnhardt Jr. has made his first statement since surviving a plane crash.

The famed former NASCAR driver and his wife were on a private jet Thursday that crashed into a fence at the end of a runway upon landing at Elizabethton Municipal Airport in east Tennessee, officials said.

"We are truly blessed that all on board escaped with no serious injuries, including our daughter, our two pilots and our dog Gus," Earnhardt said in a tweet Monday evening. "I am thankful for the quick response of my pilots, local law enforcement, emergency personnel and hospital staff."

Earnhardt spent a few hours at a hospital before he was released. A current racing analyst, Earnhardt was excused from participating in the broadcast of Saturday's NASCAR Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway, NBC Sports said.

Earnhardt, son of the late racing legend Dale Earnhardt, has survived a fiery crash in the past.

In 2004, he was driving a Corvette during a practice session at an American Le Mans Series race at the Sonoma Raceway in California. After a seemingly innocent-looking one-vehicle wreck, Earnhardt's car burst into flames.

Earnhardt has credited a spiritual being for pulling him out of that fire to safety, according to interviews about that incident.

CNN's Jamiel Lynch, Jason Hanna, David Close and Steve Almasy contributed to this report.

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