ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL)- Dale Earnhardt Jr. issued his first statement Monday following a fiery plane crash late last week.

You can read the entire statement below.

The plane, traveling from Statesville, North Carolina, bounced at least twice before “coming down hard” on the right-wing landing gear, according to investigators.

Dale Jr. also released a new episode on his podcast titled “William Byron: The Next Big Thing” and in the first part of that podcast, he addressed the plane crash in Elizabethton.

In that podcast, Dale Earnhardt Jr. said in part, “My family and I were involved in an awful accident. Just wanted to let everybody know that we are so thankful for all of the prayers and phone calls and everything everybody did over the last several days has really helped lift us up.”

In the background as Dale Jr. is speaking, you can hear his daughter Isla make a noise. He acknowledged her and said, “..Isla is here trying to help me send this message to you.”

Dale Jr. went on to say, “We’re just trying to process what we went through…and it’s been a very difficult few days for everybody but me and my wife and our family just are trying our best to get back to normal as soon as possible.”

His entire message about the plane crash lasted for about 1 minute 45 seconds.

SEE ALSO: ESPN reporter Marty Smith talks to Dale Earnhardt Jr. after Elizabethton plane crash