Aug. 20 (UPI) -- NASCAR gave first responders free tickets to an auto race as a thank you for their assistance during Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s recent plane crash.
Earnhardt was with his wife, Amy, 1-year old daughter, Isla Rose, two pilots and family dog, Gus, when their private plane ran off a runway and caught fire Thursday at Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Tennessee. No passengers sustained serious injuries during the accident.
The Carter County Tennessee Sheriff's Office was one of the emergency units that arrived on the scene of the crash. They posted a message thanking NASCAR for providing tickets to the Bristol Motor Speedway Night Race Saturday on Facebook.
"We had a great time with our first responder family at the BMS night race," the Carter County Tennessee Sheriff's Office wrote. "A big thank you to NASCAR for giving us and all the agencies that responded to Dale Jr.'s plane crash free tickets!"
Denny Hamlin won Saturday's race, days after Earnhardt's crash. Earnhardt was set to be in the broadcasting booth for NBC for the race, but was given the day off after the accident. The retired NASCAR driver posted about the crash Monday night on Twitter.
"Amy and I want to thank everyone who has lifted us up with phone calls, messages and prayer since last Thursday," Earnhardt wrote. "We are truly blessed that all on board escaped with no serious injuries, including our daughter, our two pilots and our dog Gus.
"With respect to the investigation, we will not be speculating or discussing the cause of the accident. I am thankful for the quick response of my pilots, local law enforcement, emergency personnel and hospital staff. 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."
Earnhardt, 44, was voted the sport's most popular driver a record 15 times during his racing career.