The race car driver said he’s feeling thankful to have mostly recovered “very quickly” while he’s “looking forward” to getting behind the NASCAR wheel to compete again – in his first race since the accident – at Darlington Speedway Saturday.
The 44-year-old NASCAR star shared new details about the terrifying accident that occurred two weeks ago in Elizabethton, Tenn., during an appearance Thursday on the SiriusXM NASCAR Radio show “Beyond Racing.”
“I had some bad bruising on my back, but I went and got some excellent advice and care and treatment for that, and I’ve been doing a lot at home to bring the swelling down and get rid of a lot of the blood,” Earnhardt told show hosts Kelley Earnhardt Miller – who is his sister – and Danielle Trotta, People reported.
“It was just really swollen and bad, but all that’s actually gotten better very quickly. So I think I’m going to be OK,” he said. “Once you get in a car, you won’t even think about [any injuries.]”
“And you're in the middle of the action, you don't even think about those things. You’re just concentrating so hard on driving the car, you don’t even remember that stuff,” he mused.
In a larger sense, Earnhardt said that his competing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series' Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 at Darlington Speedway in South Carolina on Saturday will be great for his “mental processing” in moving forward from the traumatic plane crash.
“I’m looking forward to it. I think maybe getting in the race car and driving and going through all of that experience – the practice and qualifying – will be great for my mental processing and all that,” he revealed. “I think that’s the hurdle that’s going to be the toughest, just getting past it mentally, getting my confidence back up to get back in an airplane and all those things.”
Pushing through lower back pains related to the crash, Earnhardt has previously revealed he’s ready for the big event.
The 44-year-old driver retired from full-time racing in 2017 due to health concerns caused by a series of concussions, but still competes in a few races every year.
The Darlington Labor Day weekend event has a throwback theme, with all of the cars featuring retro paint jobs from NASCAR’s past.
Earnhardt’s Hellmann’s-sponsored Chevrolet Camaro will be blue and yellow to honor the first car that his father, Dale Sr., drove in his very first NASCAR Cup race in 1975.
Fox News’ Gary Gastelu contributed to this report.