Drafting the Circuits
By: Candice Smith @RacingDTC
The NASCAR world is all aflutter with the news that Most Popular Driver and seemingly terminal bachelor Dale Earnhardt Jr. proposed to his longtime girlfriend Amy Reimann while on vacation in Germany this week.
After many years of speculation, the couple has made it official with the lovely Ms. Reimann sporting a ring and posing with her man all over Germany.
The news is reverberating throughout NASCAR, Motorsports, and even popular culture.
Within NASCAR, Earnhardt Jr. follows a long list of drivers who have given their hearts to a special someone. People like Kyle Busch, Brian Scott, and Joey Logano have found true love, married, and created families of their own.
A few years ago I examined the impact of a long, happy marriage on NASCAR’s top drivers. People like Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Cale Yarborough, Jeff Gordon, and Jimmie Johnson all have/had lady loves they count/ed on to complete them.
These drivers’ records stand as do their legendary partnerships.
Now Earnhardt Jr., whose career had been floundering before his relationship with Ms. Reimann, has found love, contentment, and happiness. His career is also going gangbusters!
It must be said that not all drivers who have success have a life mate. That would be a ludicrous statement that is nearly impossible to prove.
But, for arguments sake, let’s look at a driver that has had immense success in his driving career. Tony Stewart is often called “a racer’s racer”. He is a genius behind the wheel of anything he drives. At least, he was until recent years.
There was a debilitating crash in the NASCAR superstar’s sprint car that injured his leg and put Stewart out of commission for months back in August of 2013.
Then, nearly a year later, back in a sprint car, an accident that occurred killing a competitor who got out of his car in anger during a caution, rocked Stewart’s already fragile world. This incident was not Stewart’s fault, but the reverberations were felt long and hard because of a life lost.
Life, when it gets raw and brutal, is most difficult when it is led alone. When one reaches the age of 40 and beyond it seems Life throws more and more challenging hurdles at people: health issues, loss of loved ones, job changes, etc.
Navigating change with a loved one is infinitely easier when Life hurls fast balls.
Stewart has been shaken; rocked to his core by these stressful events in his life of late. No doubt he has a “support system”, a group of friends and loved ones who he confides and commiserates, but no one is sure.
When one has a significant other, a life partner, they shoulder the burdens of Life together.
In NASCAR a driver always mentions his/her team – it’s never a solo effort.
In Life, having the team mentality lessens stress, strengthens bonds, and theoretically results in a happier, healthier person.
The drivers cited earlier in the article all had/have fabulous careers, and did so with a spouse.
Earnhardt Jr. has credited his happiness in his personal life as well as his successes on the track to his love Reimann. Now he’s marrying her.
Perhaps as the news of Earnhardt Jr. and Reimann as well as the impending Father’s Day Weekend reach Stewart he may start to reevaluate his life.
Stewart’s way of going through life as a serial bachelor has worked until now, but perhaps in this next chapter of life he might consider teaming up with a special someone like Earnhardt Jr.
It couldn’t hurt and might actually help.