DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Dale Earnhardt Jr. is happy to put a ring on it but just don’t expect him to follow suit.
“I’m free of all my obligations in that regard,” he said with a laugh during Daytona 500 Media Day.
A day after revealing on the Dan Patrick Show that a jewelry phobia was “the biggest holdup for me getting married,” NASCAR’s 12-time most popular driver elaborated on his fear Thursday and explained how he and longtime girlfriend Amy Reimann dealt with it.
Earnhardt called it a “dead giveaway” that Reimann often opts for a jewelry-free appearance in deference to her boyfriend.
“I’ve told her my phobia and let her choose what she wanted to do,” he said. “We’ve talked about it. I’m not going to be held accountable (for wearing a ring), and she can do whatever she wants. I figure if we ever get to that step in life, I owe her that much. I’ll have to put up with that.”
Earnhardt said it doesn’t bother him as much when other wear jewelry, but he finds it terrorizing. He said his older sister, Kelley Earnhardt Miller, is to blame.
“My sister used to chase me around the house with necklaces and stuff,” he said with a laugh. “It’s creepy to me.
“(Earnhardt Miller) made it worse. She definitely antagonized me and terrorized me when I was younger.”
Though he isn’t on board with wearing a gold band to symbolize marriage, he doesn’t mind being badgered about potential wedding plans with Reimann, whom he has been dating for more than four years.
“Because we get it all the time,” he said. “All the time. The people we interact with on Twitter are (asking), ‘When are you going to do it? Pop the question already!’ (Reimann) gets it more than I do. People telling her I need to put a ring on it and do all those things. We hear all the time, plus when I turned 40 (last October), it really ramped up. People were like, ‘Man, your time is running out. Amy’s a good girl. What are you waiting for?’ ”
There doesn’t seem to be any trouble in paradise, though, for the happy couple, which apparently doesn’t need a lot of romance to make its relationship work – as evidenced by a story Earnhardt told about a recent Valentine’s Day in Daytona.
“We ended up me and her driving to a drugstore and going in separately to buy cheap drugstore candy and bringing it back to the bus and eating it,” he said. “That was as romantic as we got. She doesn’t really care much for Valentine’s Day, at least she says, but I know better than to listen to her verbatim.”