For 12 consecutive years, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has held the title of “NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver.” As of a week ago, he now has a new one: ‘fiancé.’
Earnhardt proposed to his girlfriend Amy while on a vacation in Germany (spoiler alert: she said yes), and sealed the deal with a shiny engagement ring. The circular ring is meant to be a symbol of eternity. So it’s odd timing that Earnhardt now heads to one of the few NASCAR tracks that isn’t a circle – Sonoma Raceway.
It took a while, but Earnhardt might finally love Sonoma as much as Amy. After 15 starts, he got his first top-10 finish at Sonoma last year, a third-place result. Still, his average Sonoma finish of 20.3 makes the track tied with Homestead for his second worst, behind only Watkins Glen (22.4), the other road course track in the series.
Earnhardt has all but locked up a spot in this year’s Chase thanks to a win at Talladega, and now aims to grow his Chase bonus points total. All 16 Chase drivers will have their points reset to 2,000 to start the Chase, with three additional bonus points added for each win in the regular season.