Thoughts on Amy Earnhardt’s Twitter explanation

By now, you’ve probably seen Amy Earnhardt’s tweet about why she doesn’t want husband Dale Earnhardt Jr. to run The Clash exhibition race next year.

If you missed it, here it is:


I sort of cringed when I first read this, because it seemed like some idiots on Twitter probably wouldn’t handle this very well. Then I read the replies and — yep. Some positive responses, but also some ugly ones that were just totally unnecessary.

It was the kind of personal tweet that’s like the Bat Signal for douchebags.

Honestly, Amy didn’t owe anyone that kind of explanation or peek into how the decision was made. I fear this may put an uncomfortable spotlight on her in terms of fans placing blame for why Dale Jr. won’t be out there risking more head-knocks for their entertainment.

But she’s absolutely right, of course.

Think about it: Dale Jr. got seriously injured — enough to the point where his vision was impacted for months and he was in a really bad place mentally — and Amy was there every single day of what had to be some very dark times. She pushed him to keep going with his exercises (mental and physical) in hopes of seeing the person she loves simply return to normal again.

So after going through all that, Dale Jr. decided to race one more season in order to go out on his own terms — and Amy gave her blessing. That’s a pretty strong level of support from a spouse, and a selfless one at that.

I assume it’s quite a sacrifice to be willing to watch your loved one put themselves at risk when you know the consequences all too well. And don’t give me the, “Well, she knew what she signed up for when she married a race car driver.” No, not in terms of the concussion effects. I bet seeing that would change anyone’s outlook on racing.

If Earnhardt is able to get through this season without another concussion, that would be quite fortunate and he should walk away thankful for his health and a fine career. So it’s no wonder then, when asked whether she would endorse Dale Jr. putting himself in a high-risk situation for no good reason, she said: Nah.

Seriously, what would running The Clash prove? That he’s good at plate racing? Duh. That he loves racing and wants to get back in a car? OK, cool — take a few months off and go run a Truck race at Martinsville, dude.

I don’t blame Amy one bit for her “decision.” It’s the right one. I just worry about the potential backlash from this call being on her shoulders in such a public way.

53 Replies to “Thoughts on Amy Earnhardt’s Twitter explanation”

    1. I agree with you ????%. Nobody but Dale and Amy know what they went thru and the decision was made. I love racing. Love everything about it. Sounds smells excitement. But I can’t imagine watching my husband or son or anyone I love doing it. And he’s had a strong warning. Hope he sticks to his decision. Shame on the fans that were ugly ????????????????

      1. 100% agree and fans who are ugly are no true fans anyway. A true fan would understand the decision made.

    2. It shows a high level of trust that he left it up to Amy . They are building a strong foundation for a good marriage. This is one of the times when someone else has to be the “decider” in the family. The time when someone close has to tell you what you already know deep inside but don’t want to admit. There will be other times and my first reaction was that it’s none of our business even it he is “our boy” but then I realized she is willing to take the heat for it when the dumbasses start their trash talk. Love from someone who could be her Grandma.

      1. Yep I like what u say…
        I think he will still b at the track owner and running the show from the pits…

  1. My father’s advice was, “when you retire, retire.” Good lesson. Jeff Gordon didn’t and didn’t really do well while the rest, Elliott, Martin, Stewart, and others have, retaining their legacy intact. I retired from my job in May. I haven’t been back to the house drive though I own the building. Amy is right. It’s not worth the risk.

    1. You slam Gordon for filling in for an injured driver but praise Martin for faux retiring 5 times? Interesting.

      1. Also – Elliott continued racing part time almost anonymously after he “retired” in 2003. Not that I blame him, but it’s odd that you single out Gordon, who raced only when requested by Rick and sponsors.

        1. I think this is what the douchebag label is for. Gordon returning to run a handful of races didn’t ruing his legacy at all. It had no effect whatsoever.

  2. And…….. the Clash is a Checkers or Wreckers race……..not a good place to be…….enjoy your life on YOUR terms Amy…..

      1. Because she understands that JR wanted to honor his contract and go out on his terms. With the stipulation being, once your done, you’re not racing those tracks again.

  3. Screw the haters! If they have this much backlash over Amy’s “no blessing”, then they aren’t true “JrNation” fans! I’ve never been a big fan of Jr until lately. My late husband and I had a big battle over Dale Sr and Gordon in the earlier years and that’s what got me into NASCAR. I know what it’s like to lose your loved one and Amy shouldn’t have to go thru that. I totally stand up for Amy and it is hers and Jr’s choice to make…not JrNation!!!

    What would his fans think if he were to get hurt again? Put the blame on her for letting him continue or put the blame on him for continuing, knowing what might happen.

    Way to go Amy for standing up for your man…and way to go Jr for listening!!!

  4. I agree with Amy, as much as Junior loves racing, there is a time to step back and take a breather. Be an owner and watch. Start a family and maybe a few little Juniors to carry on the name. I have been an Earnhardt fan since Feb of 1986, and it is ok with this fan if he does not race at Daytona. Have fun and stay safe.

  5. You always say it like it is I love it my hopes is that the abusive responses she received doesn’t stop her from tweeting Stevie’s verse or interactions with the #JrNation fans. I myself was embarrassed as well as furious with some of the responses she received. God bless her and Dale Jr.

  6. I’ve had a minor concussion and I never want to experience those symptoms again. I support Amy and her stance. She and Dale need to live out their life symptom free.

  7. If he had ANY thought at all about not running it , then don’t. If the fire is out then so be it

  8. Great post, Jeff. Thank you. You know, this reminds me of the Beatle fans blaming Yoko for the break-up. People are bizarre and react without much consideration for others when things like this occur.

    I cringed as well when I saw Amy Earnhardt’s Tweet. You could see the writing on the wall as far as what the responses to that one would be, and as you seem to have felt, regrettably it was a right guess.

    You know, selfish people react selfishly. I think that’s the simplest way to look at this situation.

  9. Can someone please get the message to Jr. that competitive biking can be really dangerous. This is not a joke and I support both Amy and Dale’s decision, whatever how it plays out. Jr. was recently in the greater San Antonio area bike riding the north county roads. I cringed because we lose a few athletes a year in/around the Alamo city because of driver’s not giving bikes the right of way. The helmets used for biking are reinforced styrophome. Not good. Just be careful out there Jr.! we love ya and wish you & Amy the very best! Junior Nation!!

  10. Completely agree with this post, Jeff. My advice to anyone in the spotlight about a personal decision is simple: Don’t accept every invitation to argue. It’s okay to walk away and let others speculate on what’s truly none of their business. Resist the urge to defend yourself, because the folks you’re “answering” to are least likely to truly care about your wellbeing.

  11. You are quickly becoming the most level headed, factual, face of inner “real shit” face of NASCAR. Kudos, Jeff.

  12. Let’s not forget that Dale could have very well retired years ago during the winless spell and team troubles had it not been for Amy. If anyone doubts just how low Dale was during that stretch, simply research some Marty Smith articles as he has discussed Amy’s significance in Dale’s life. As Jeff said, Amy is also one of the biggest reasons he’s even racing now. Priorities and perspectives change with every relationship in life. Racing is minuscule and inferior compared to nearly all aspects of life, including family. What authority do we have to critique the decision?

  13. I don’t take fault with her concern or reasoning. However, if she’s so concerned, why not ask him to stop now? There are plenty of HMS drivers ready to fill in. Plus it’d be a good chance to evaluate Bowman vs Byron.

    There are still a lot of tracks in which he can get injured. If anything, he is more at risk at Dega in the fall.

    I agree, he does not need to run the clash.

    Regarding the Twitter backlash. Her life is better than about 98% of the fans who are saying bad things. Turn off notifications and hop back on air Junior.

  14. I might could understand the backlash if Dale was running up front and contending for wins but the fact that he’s already been in to many crashes this year to count. Can’t blame her, she wants babies and a daddy to help her raise them.

  15. Thank you for writing this. Some people get their human heros mixed up with their toy action figures & video games. They don’t seem to grasp that even the very best athlete is still a human being and therefore subject to pain & injury. Their selfish negative comments were disturbing.

    1. Very well said! Unfortunately too many selfish people out there that don’t have a clue.

  16. Well written/said Jeff. And I LOVE the idea of short track racing for Jr. He loves it and it would be a huge draw. Hell, I could maybe see him pull triple duty like that #18 guy does at Bristol or a double header at some other short tracks on the schedule if things line up and good equipment is available. Anyone that is that insecure or naive to attack her on a decision is selfish. Even if Amy wasn’t in the picture I think Jr would make the same decision to hang it up.

  17. There have been rumors in the garage for years that Amy had been pushing Jr to retire, long before he was ever hurt. More so, so they could travel, party and vaca way more not so much the danger of it all. When he started running poorly then got hurt I knew he was gone then. I moved my support to other drivers at that point. When he announced his retirement it was no shock to me. I wish him well…

    He shouldn’t race at all after retirement, even in Xfinity, IMO, because you can get hurt any place at any time doing it at any level..ask Kyle Busch. Glad he gave it one more go enjoy your life Jr!

    As to the nasty people, they might need to get off twitter, turn off the tv and get out and enjoy their lives also. It’s just racing. It’s nothing to cuss people out over…especially when in reality it doesn’t affect your life at all.

    Selfish people so narrow minded that if they fell face first on a straight pin they would poke out both eyes!
    I applaud Amy for her candid, honest comments, this is a very personal decision and the JACKWAGONS who were so Nasty and Rude to her should be Ashamed, but I know they are not!
    Thanks Jeff for your eloquent and CLEAR description of THE FACTS!
    As always the nail was it on the head, as apparently we’re the DOUCHEBAGS who were so RUDE!

  19. Thanks for a wonderful article, Jeff. I hate that the haters went weird on Amy, but bet she expected some crap from them.

    Keep up the good work.

  20. I agree with Amy completely! Makes no sense – always have to apply the formula “Risk verses Reward” – when making important decisions. The risk is high while the reward here is extremely low.

  21. As #JrNation fans we are saddened to see Dale Jr. retire. Amy doesn’t deserve any negative backlash from #JrNation Fans. Amy has been right there by his side through all his healing process. I’m sure Their decision sure didn’t come easy. They deserve the right to be able to have a family with baby E’s to carry on the name. Thanks for the Story Jeff

  22. I agree it’s their decision, no matter how bad I, or any other true Jr fan would want him to run the clash. But the question I have is she won’t let him run the clash because of his health/concussions but it’s ok for him to run “around 3-6 Xfinity races a yr for Jr Motorsports” ( Per Jr from this weeks podcast). I get that there is always the chance for the “BigOne” at Daytona but he’s at just as much risk at other tracks. I.E… his concussions at Michigan last yr, and at the test at Kansas back in 2012. Not trying to be a duchebag just a serious question. Been a Dale jr fan since 98 and always will be, just love to watch him race.

    1. I agree with your comment. I was wondering the same thing. also the rumor that Amy was on him long before he got hurt. makes us wonder. I think Amy should not have written her comments for the world to read. she knew that she was going to bring out a lot of bad comments especially since she had so many hateful comments after she married JR, since she left her husband for JR. Now, I think, ( I have the right to my opinion ) That she should have kept off the media and the decisions that her and her husband JR make between husband and wife stay behind closed doors, not the public business. I understand so well the things that a love one goes through taking care of your spouse when they are so ill,as a married couple they promise that to each other when they took their marriage vows, thank God most of the time thing comes out so great, other times, like mine. after years of loving care and worries you loose the love of your life. I am not trying to degrade or put her down but I don’t like the comments about all she had to go through, like she did it, but really didn’t have to, yes she did if she loved JR her husband its what you do WITHOUT wanting to be barged on or wanting people to feel sorry for you. Yes her comment makes sense but it does sound like she pushed Jr into retirement or should I say he agreed with only part time retirement b / c he himself said he was still going to race in some of the xfinity series, so any of you that can’t read between the lines, in the statement that has been put out, it is agreement between both of them, he will still race just not cup or xfinity full time. he gave in to her and sounds like in order to keep peace he agreed. I am sorry, so sorry for the health problems that Jr went through and the thought that he could get hurt like that again, we all know that you can get a concussion doing anything, riding bikes, 4 wheeler, all type of sports and even no sports you can get one by just getting slapped to hard on the head. Point is it possible all the time. I only hope that Jr made the decision himself, not for a few, or b / c he was pushed into it. if he was it want take long for the public to see the fall out from it. I hope he will be very happy and healthy and continues to grow in anything he does. Jr BEST OF LUCK TO YOU. Amy a little advice, if you don’t want bad comment DON’T go on all the media pages and put your PRIVATE husband and wife conversation &plans out for all to see. I’m sorry you are getting so much bad reply but what did you think was going to happen? Please don’t become like another driver wife and keep in the background. Have to admit you like the spot light. we all would, if we told the truth! !, best of luck.

  23. As a fan, it is hard that he is going to retire this year. I feel meh about watching NASCAR next year without him. The thought he could come back for a race is cool. BUT I don’t want to see him get hurt. I was so worried about him coming back because he could get hurt again.

    As a wife, I completely understand what she is saying. I am pretty sure it’s not solely her decision. She is just saying when she is asked about it, she says no, I don’t want him to do that. It makes total sense. And any smart man will take his wife’s thoughts and considerations into a decision like that. My hubby doesn’t always agree with me when I saw something is a danger to him, but if I am adamant he could get hurt, then he won’t do it. They both know this is a real danger to him. She lived through that before, it’s a real possibility she could again. People have died from concussions, people have also never recovered. Why risk your future together on something you aren’t going to gain from. For others? No.

  24. I avoided the tweet totally because as soon as I saw it pop up on the timeline it was thae type of tweet that would bring out the “interesting” responders of the twitterverse. Thank you Jeff for covering the tweet with respect and your commenters for well spoken responses.

  25. My very first thought was that Dale Jr could help defend Amy’s comments, but my second, and better, thought was that Amy is a very strong independent woman and wife and is more than capable of making a heartfelt statement and feeling no need to defend it to me and you. Live your life Dale and Amy. We are mere spectators in it.

  26. Jr has risked his health for 20+years for our entertainment. 2001 would have been a good reason to give it up but he didn’t. He’s made a GOOD living racing (worth over 300 million). He needs to quit while he’s healthy and enjoy the empire he’s risked his life to build. I will miss watching him race but his health is much more than racing.

  27. But according to her explanation, sounds like she doesn’t want him racing anymore period. Which unless you want to be hypocritical means he shouldn’t be racing right now. Ultimately I believe he will end up running!

  28. Amy is right of course. But she should have just kept that between the two of them. Wouldn’t want someone to start talking about who wears the fire suit in the family.

  29. If Dale wants to do something in retirement where concussions are a known danger to participants, he should buy the Redskins!

  30. I never have been a JR fan for years, But I found out what kind of MAN he is. Now I support JR on any decisions he makes. I would luv to see him race ten more years but his health is a lot more important than racing. I am behind you Dale and enjoy your’s and Amy’s life. But please do some TV announcing work.

  31. I must comment on article and twitter reply.
    Even though Amy’s thinking is correct, these issues are between spouses only and should be kept inside doors and a roof…not 2 doors and a rooftop!
    If safety was the primary concern, then he would retire now before further vulnerabilities at upcoming tracks but not so, as what he loves to do obviously trumps discussions on other fronts.
    Wives must learn to keep personal comments out of the media. These are all opinion based and leave room for lots of good/bad feedback. It serves no purpose but to add ill inked feedbck. Let Dale make his own decisions, even though most of us married types know it involves information from many sources. Women/men are two different beings with different approaches–One is based mostly on emotions and the other with logic. When you combine both, you hopefully come out with the best balance with your decisions, but not always and not always accepted by all.
    If I want to do a parachute jump, it is risky and between family/friends, will I form my decision. What I don’t need is someone telling me in media what I shouldn’t be doing! I have all sorts of coworkers telling me why I should retire but for their reasons…not mine! Leave spousal comments out of the media and whatever Dale decides to do will be based on inputs from family anyway. Let the Captain run the ship…we know it is from all the inputs of the other officers he steers the ship.
    Thanks for the opportunity to watch and see you race. Best to Dale in whatever decision he makes or does in future.


  32. Well written Jeff. I support them on their decision. Wishing them only the best and hoping for a strong finish to this season.

  33. Great article and opinion Jeff. Amy is certainly entitled to her opinion. In my opinion, she is a wife who wants to spend the rest of her life with the man she loves. She wants him healthy to enjoy their lives together. Anyone villifying her is a complete and utter asshole. I have never been a Junior fan. But I want him to do what’s best for him AND Amy.

  34. Just to play a little devils advocate, which I love to do….. If your loved one is at home sick dealing with the issues Jr had, do you leave him alone several different times to go on vacation for a week at a time? That did happen. Just check her and her friends/familys IG’s. I mean if it’s all about her wanting him healthy and all. Was that worry there when she was in the tropics without him and him at home sick? Everyone can agree they’d rather Jr be healthy but actions do speak louder than words. Retirement only about his health or wanting out of the yearly slog of race life to get to vaca and stuff more? Hmm….

    Not shading anyone just bringing facts into play. I don’t care one way or the other if he does the race, it’s his choice, nothing to get mad over. And for the record I don’t dislike Amy, no reason to, just filling in some blank spaces.

  35. I too feel it’s time to walk away, I just wish he’d done it before the season started. I love Jr and loved Sr. I’ve never rooted for anyone else and was fortunate to see them both win at Dega, the only two races I’ve been able to attend. As for Amy, I’m sure the decision was both of theirs. Maybe some people wouldn’t have been so negative if the announcement had come from Junior and included her. Bottom line, nobody’s business.

    1. That’s the problem. If you listen to Junior’s response, it’s clear that they had not come to a joint decision. She spoke her opinion, not their shared decision. Always the gentleman, Junior is talking the blame. I have nothing against Amy, but she’s been around him and this sport long enough to know not put either of them in the media spotlight in this manner.

  36. I’m certain that the opinions of knuckle-dragging eindow-lickers actually means very little to either Amy or Dale. Anyone that has endured a brush with mortality, or has coped with a life-changing injury or illness understands exactly what Dale experienced, and it is a scary time, not only for the patient, but the family, also. The decision was made, and the rationale is none of fandom’s business, even if certain entitled idiots think it id.

  37. Of course in one perspective I agree completely with Amy and understand where she is coming from, however there are underlying questions that maybe weren’t looked at or addressed as well. Of course we would all like to see Dale Jr. race one more time at Daytona, but even if he doesn’t does that mean he’s done? I mean you even said a Truck race in a few months, are the trucks that much safer than the Cup series? What about his own team in Xfinity. I would guess he would like to jump in a few of those, especially the plate tracks, and the JRM sponsors would line up for that too. For that matter what about his new found love of bicycles. There were approx. 818 deaths in 2015 and 45,000 injuries. A simple fall off the bike could cause another relapse with his previous injuries. So what’s he supposed to do ?? Retire and live in a bubble. I understand the concerns, especially from a spouse but you can’t let that fear dictate how you live the rest of your life. If that’s the case then he’s done, completely done, with no chance of ever getting in any type of race car again. That’s fine. it’s up to Dale and Amy, but if he does plan of racing in Xfinity or the Truck series what would one more plate race at Daytona in the Cup series hurt. We would all tune in to see it. Best ratings for Nascar for the 2018 season no doubt. Bonus, he may add one more to his race total at Daytona before completely calling it quits in the Cup. Sure there is that unknown, but just getting out of the house these days is an unknown with all the nut drivers I see on the roads everyday.
    I feel for Amy, and don’t want to see her persecuted for her beliefs and fears, but Dale Jr. is either all out or not. If not, Dale we’ll see you in DAYTONA in February.

  38. Jeff, you are the Voice of reason. I am a Dale Jr. fan & believe Amy is one the best thing to happen to him. I want nothing more than than for him and Amy to live a healthy & blessed life after racing.

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