Dale Jr. on Dan Patrick Show: Wedding date, retirement, Jeff Gordon


If you’re expecting an invitation to the wedding of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Amy Reimann, you may have to keep waiting awhile.

“We haven’t set a date. We’re thinking next winter, probably. … It’s more than 12 months away,” Earnhardt said Thursday morning on NBCSN’s Dan Patrick Show.

Fresh off his win last weekend at Phoenix, Earnhardt talked about a number of subjects including teammate Jeff Gordon’s retirement and final championship bid on Sunday and Junior’s own retirement.

But getting back to his engagement, Earnhardt shared a story about just how nervous he was when the time came to propose to Amy in a church in Germany while on vacation this past June.

When Patrick asked him if the engagement ring was “burning a hole in your pocket,” Earnhardt demurred.

“Actually, I didn’t trust myself with it, so my sister (Kelley) carried it the entire time,” Earnhardt said. “She was in the church the entire time with us.

“So, we’re all standing there ,and I tried to give Kelley the signal to pull it out. She was (like my engagement ring crew chief). It was something else, man. I was nervous.”

As for being part of Jeff Gordon’s final race Sunday, Earnhardt said all four drivers have a good chance to win. But we know where his loyalty lies.

“It’s hard to pick one guy because they’re all kind of showing good speed right now,” Earnhardt said. “I’m obviously going to pull for my teammate, Jeff Gordon, because I want boss man to be happy and that would be a hell of a way to go out.

“He’s been racing for 20-some years now and still has the ability to go out and win races and battle for championships to the very end. What a storybook ending that would be if he got the championship.”

As for his own retirement, Earnhardt feels he still has several more good years of racing left in him. When Patrick asked if that meant at least five more years, Earnhardt tried to avoid the question initially, but eventually acquiesced.

“Five more years? That’s tough,” he said. “I’m getting up there. I’m 41 now. I like what I’m doing, I’m having fun. I’m having more fun now than I think I’ve ever had driving cars, and I think I’m better than I’ve ever been.

“I feel like that, you think all the time, ‘Man, I wish I could go back and redo all those early years knowing what I know now.’ I feel like I’m at the top of my game, I feel the team I’m with is really jelling. (Crew chief Greg Ives) and I hit it off pretty good in our first year, and I think each year we’ll get better, like I did with (former crew chief Steve Letarte).

“At this moment, I’ve got my health and I get to choose. When you decide to retire, you want it to be on your own terms, not because of health or because of something else. You don’t want to be forced out.

“So, right now, it looks like I’ll be able to make that choice on my own terms and whenever I feel like retiring, I’ll retire. I can’t quit with any kind of regrets. I feel right now everything is going so good and I’m running so well. I’ve won six races in the last two years.

“After struggling for five, six years and not winning any races and everybody doubting me, it’d be hard to hang it up knowing how good things are right now. So I’m going to roll with what’s happening and keep racing. Whenever I’m not cutting it as a driver or holding up this team, then I’ll have to make that decision, but I don’t think it’ll be anytime soon. Five years from now, I expect to be racing.”

How does his future look, Patrick asked Earnhardt?

“Life’s good,” Earnhardt said. “We just came off a win at Phoenix and I’m working on my first year with Greg Ives as my crew chief and that’s going good. The future looks good.”

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NASCAR suspends Chase Elliott one race for incident with Denny Hamlin

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NASCAR suspended Chase Elliott one Cup race for wrecking Denny Hamlin in Monday’s Coca-Cola 600, the sanctioning body announced Tuesday.

“We take this very seriously,” Elton Sawyer, senior vice president of competition, said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “The incident that happened off Turn 4, again after looking at all the available resources — in-car camera, data, SMT, which basically gives us (a car’s) steering, throttle, gives us braking — it was an intentional act by Chase in our opinion.”

Hendrick Motorsports stated that it would not appeal the penalty. Corey LaJoie will drive the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports this weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway. Carson Hocevar will drive LaJoie’s car this weekend.

Hendrick Motorsports also stated that it would submit a waiver request for Elliott to remain eligible for the playoffs. Sawyer said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that “I don’t see any reason at this point in time why wouldn’t (grant the waiver) when that request comes across our desk.”

This weekend will mark the seventh race in the first 15 that Elliott will have missed. He missed six races after breaking his leg in a snowboarding accident in early March. Elliott, who is winless this season, is 29th in points.

Elliott and Hamlin got together shortly before the halfway mark in Monday’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

As they ran together, Elliott’s car slapped the outside wall. Elliott’s car then made contact with the right rear of Hamlin’s car, sending Hamlin into the wall.

“I got right-rear hooked in the middle of the straightway,” Hamlin said after the incident. “Yes, it was a tantrum. He shouldn’t be racing next week. Right-rear hooks are absolutely unacceptable. He shouldn’t be racing.”

Said Sawyer on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio: “In the heat of the battle, things happen, but they have to learn to react in a different way. … Our drivers need to understand that you have to handle that in a completely different way than hooking someone in the right rear and putting them in harm’s way, not only with just a major head-on collision like Denny had, but also other competitors.”

Sawyer also said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that “nothing gave us the indication that on that particular contact with the fourth-turn wall … that anything was broke” on Elliott’s car and could have caused him to come down and hit Hamlin’s car in the right rear.

NASCAR also announced that Scott Brzozowski and Adam Lewis, crew members on Michael McDowell‘s team, had each been suspended two races after McDowell’s car lost a tire in Monday’s race.

Winners and losers at Charlotte Motor Speedway


A look at winners and losers from Monday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway:


Ryan Blaney — Blaney stopped his winless streak at 59 races and gave team owner Roger Penske his second major race victory in two days. Blaney had the best car but had to fight through restarts late in the race to win.

William Byron — Byron, the winningest driver this season, barely missed getting victory No. 4. He finished second and scored his fifth straight top 10.

Martin Truex Jr. — Truex logged his third top five of the season.

23XI RacingBubba Wallace was fourth and Tyler Reddick fifth, giving 23XI Racing a pair of top-five finishes for the first time in a points race.


Jimmie Johnson — The seven-time champion admitted having problems adjusting to the Next Gen car on a 1.5-mile track. He crashed early and finished last.

Legacy Motor Club — It was a bad night for Jimmie Johnson and his team’s drivers. Johnson finished last in the 37-car field. Noah Gragson was 36th. Erik Jones placed 32nd.

Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin — Two drivers who had strong cars didn’t make it to the finish after crashing near the halfway point. Hamlin said Elliott “shouldn’t be racing next week. Right-rear hooks are absolutely unacceptable. He shouldn’t be racing.”

NASCAR Xfinity Series results: Justin Allgaier wins at Charlotte


CONCORD, N.C. — Justin Allgaier finally broke through for his first win of the NASCAR Xfinity Series season Monday night.

Allgaier stretched his last fuel load over the final laps to finish in front of John Hunter Nemechek. Cole Custer was third, Austin Hill fourth and Ty Gibbs fifth. Gibbs ran both races Monday, completing 900 miles.

The win also was the first of the season for JR Motorsports.

Charlotte Xfinity results

Xfinity points after Charlotte

Justin Allgaier wins NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway


CONCORD, N.C. — Justin Allgaier won a fuel-mileage gamble to win Monday night’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Allgaier stretched his fuel to outlast second-place John Hunter Nemechek. Following in the top five were Cole Custer, Austin Hill and Ty Gibbs.

The victory was Allgaier’s first of the year and the first of the season for JR Motorsports. He has 20 career wins.

MORE: Charlotte Xfinity results

After a long day at CMS, the race ended at 11:25 p.m. The race started Monday morning but was stopped twice because of weather before it was halted with 48 of 200 laps completed so that the Coca-Cola 600 Cup Series race could be run.

When the race was stopped, Gibbs, Nemechek and Allgaier were in the top three positions.

Gibbs won the first two stages.

Stage 1 winner: Ty Gibbs

Stage 2 winner: Ty Gibbs

Who had a good race: Justin Allgaier has had good cars in previous races but finally cashed in with a win Monday. He led 83 laps. … John Hunter Nemechek, in second, scored his fifth top-two run of the season. … Cole Custer scored his sixth straight top-10 finish. … Ty Gibbs lasted 900 miles for the day and led 52 laps in the Xfinity race.

Who had a bad race: Sam Mayer was running 10th when he spun off Turn 2. He finished 35th. … Sheldon Creed finished three laps down in 28th.

Next: The series moves on to Portland International Raceway in Oregon for a 4:30 p.m. ET race June 3.