Elizabethton Fire Chief Barry Carrier told CNN affiliate WJHL that Earnhardt and his wife, Amy, were on the plane that crashed at Elizabethton Airport.
The Federal Aviation Administration said a Cessna Citation rolled off the end of a runway and caught fire after landing. It said it received no reports of injuries.
The FAA said two pilots and three passengers were aboard.
The plane’s tail number was N8JR, the FAA said.