First responders at Earnhardt Jr. plane crash get free NASCAR tickets

NASCAR gave free tickets to the first responders who answered the call when retired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., his family and two pilots crashed last week.

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It was a show of appreciation for the officers and firefighters who responded to a fiery hard landing Thursday at Tennessee's Elizabethton Municipal Airport. Earnhardt and everyone else on board walked away from the crash alive, and the responders celebrated the positive ending on Saturday at the Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS).

"We had a great time with our first responder family at the BMS night race!" Carter County Tennessee Sheriff's Office wrote on its Facebook page. "A big thank you to NASCAR for giving us and all the agencies that responded to Dale Jr.'s plane crash free tickets!"

Earnhardt Jr., his wife Amy and baby daughter, Isla, looked on near the Speedway, where the former driver was expected to join the broadcast team covering the race this weekend. Earnhardt Jr. retired from NASCAR in 2017 and has since been working as an analyst.

Video from the incident showed first responders treating Earnhardt Jr. The driver was hospitalized and later discharged, according to Earnhardt’s sister.

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The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board said they will investigate probable cause of the accident.