Dale Earnhardt Jr.
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Dale Jr.: ‘I plan on driving’ Xfinity Series race at Darlington

Dale Earnhardt Jr. tweeted Wednesday night that he still plans to compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway next week as previously planned.

Earnhardt Jr., his wife Amy, daughter Isla and dog Gus were involved in a frightening airplane crash last week while traveling to Bristol Motor Speedway. There were no serious injuries reported, but Earnhardt Jr. took the weekend off from his duties as an analyst on NBC Sports and has been focused on recovering at home with his family.

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Junior also tweeted his lower back is heavily bruised, but he’s been treating the area every day.

The 15-time Most Popular Driver retired from full-time NASCAR competition at the end of the 2017 season, and immediately moved into the broadcast booth with NBC Sports. He had two Xfinity Series races on the docket, though, for his own JR Motorsports team — last year at Richmond Raceway and this year at Darlington Raceway.

Driving the No. 88 Chevrolet at Richmond last season, Earnhardt Jr. qualified second, led 96 laps and finished fourth.

Earnhardt Jr. has slowly become more active on social media after taking time to process the events of last week in private. He released a statement on Monday, and also topped a previously recorded episode of the “Dale Jr. Download” podcast with a heartfelt message to his fans.

On Wednesday night, in addition to replying to fans asking about his Darlington plans, he good-naturedly tweeted at former crew chief and NBC co-worker Steve Letarte, who admitted he was watching the racing classic “Days of Thunder” for the first time Wednesday night.

The Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway is scheduled for Aug. 31 at 4 p.m. ET, televised on NBC (Radio: MRN, SiriusXM).