No wedding rings for Dale Earnhardt Jr., but wedding bells are possible

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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.”

Daytona road course trophy: Handle with care

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A word of warning for the Cup Series driver who wins Sunday’s inaugural race on the Daytona road course (3 p.m. ET on NBC).

When you’re celebrating the victory, don’t get too excited with the trophy.

It could wind up all over Victory Lane.

That’s because the trophy waiting at the end of the 65-lap/234.65-mile-race is made out of glass.

More: Will chaos (and rain) reign on the Daytona road course?

Via: NASCAR

The 18” tall/4.5” wide trophy for the Daytona road course race was produced by the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York. It’s the same institution that’s been responsible for designing the Watkins Glen International trophy since 2012.

Sunday’s race is being held in the place of the Cup Series’ annual visit to Watkins Glen.

Incorporating a blown glass cup, the trophy is inspired by the history of NASCAR and racing at Daytona.

“Thinking about the history of the track and long-held traditions, I was reminded that historically, trophies used to be cups and have evolved into sculptural forms,” said Eric Meek, Sr. Manager of Hot Glass Programs at The Corning Museum of Glass, said in a media release. “We took this trophy back to a more traditional shape. Daytona is the most historical track, and in thinking about a trophy design for a race held in this storied location, I was transported back to the golden age of speed. I wanted to design something that felt like a bit of a throwback – like it belonged in the era of streamline racers and the quest to go faster.”

NASCAR Pinty’s Series 2020 TV schedule released

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The NASCAR Pinty’s Series, which competes in Canada, will get its season under way this weekend after it was postponed back in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The shortened season will consist of three doubleheaders with twin 125-mile races.

The races will be held at Sunset Speedway (Aug. 15), Flamboro Speedway (Aug. 29) and Jukasa Speedway (Sept. 12).

More: Xfinity Series start time for Daytona road course

No NASCAR Pinty’s Series champion or Rookie of the Year will be crowned in 2020 due to the shortened schedule. There will be special recognition for the overall winner of the shortened season.

All races will air delayed on TSN and RDS in Canada and MAVTV in the United States. Fans in the United States can stream races after they air on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.

Here is the full schedule with TV information.

 

Saturday’s Xfinity race at Daytona road course: Start time, forecast and more

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Saturday’s Xfinity race at Daytona will mark the first time the series has competed in the track’s road course circuit.

Austin Cindric, who has won four of the last five races, is on the pole. He is joined on the front row by fellow Ford driver Chase Briscoe.

Here are the details for the Xfinity race at the Daytona road course (all times ET):

START: The command to start engines will be given at 3:07 p.m by Dr. Jeff Jarvis, president of UNOH. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:19 p.m.

PRERACE: Garage access health screening begins at 8:30 a.m. Drivers report to their cars at 2:50 p.m. The invocation will be given at 3 p.m. by Chaplain Farzad Nourian. The national anthem will be performed at 3:01 p.m. by Temecula Road.

DISTANCE: The race is 52 laps (187.72 miles) around the 3.61-mile road course

PACE LAP: At the direction of race control, the entire field will go down pit road during a pace lap for pit road speed verification. If a driver stops in the pit box for any reason, pulls over or slows down, they will start at the rear of the field.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 15. Stage 2 ends on Lap 30.

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will televise the race. Its coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. with Countdown to Green followed by the race broadcast at 3 p.m. ET. Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast will begin at 2:30 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.

STREAMING: Watch the race on the NBC Sports App by clicking here.

FORECAST: The wunderground.com forecast calls for cloudy skies, a high of 88 degrees and a 70% chance of rain and thunderstorms at the start of the race.

LAST RACE: Austin Cindric beat AJ Allmendinger and Chase Briscoe to win at Road America.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for Xfinity starting lineup

Justin Marks planning to start new Cup team

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Former NASCAR driver Justin Marks is in the process of starting a new Cup Series team and competing as early as 2021, Marks detailed to the Sports Business Journal.

Marks, who has 80 NASCAR starts and last competed in 2018, is building a team called Trackhouse that would have a “cause-marketing focus around promoting STEM education” according to SBJ.

More: Bubba Wallace lands multi-year deal with DoorDash

Marks, who once was a co-owner of an ARCA Menards West team with the late Harry Scott, said a goal of the team is to “serve America’s minorities and underrepresented youth population”

Marks told SBJ he is in negotiations to acquire a charter for the team, that his family foundation will use investment capital to fund 50% of the team’s budget and that a “nationwide family entertainment business” will be a sponsor.

One of Marks’ partners will be Ty Norris, a former executive at Michael Waltrip Racing.

Click here for more from Sports Business Journal.