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Dale Jr.: Church was a perfect place

SONOMA, Calif. -- For those who consider themselves romantic, they might have a challenge on their hands to top the way Dale Earnhardt Jr. proposed last week to Amy Reimann.

Earnhardt didn't just propose during a family visit to Germany, a trip to research the family genealogy. He asked Reimann to marry him on June 17 while at a church where his 10th grandfather -- Hamman Ehrenhart -- and other ancestors attended.

Now don't think of this as just some fairy tale. Earnhardt and Reimann went to the city of Speyer, Germany, and saw the names of his ancestors written in books detailing their births and deaths and confirming they had been baptized at that particular church.

Earnhardt said the church apparently is more than 1,000 years old in a town of 300. He knew it was the perfect spot to ask Reimann to marry him after a six-year courtship.

"To do it at that particular time, that moment while we were in that church, it made the moment more memorable for her," Earnhardt said prior to practice Friday at Sonoma Raceway. "I thought it was just a great place to do it. I thought about it, and every other spot that I could think of just didn't measure up.

"It just wasn't good enough, especially for her."

He felt it went as planned, but he didn't plan it down to the words he would say.

"My sister was asking me what I was going to say and I told her I didn't have any idea, I was just going to go for it. It didn't have to be perfect. And maybe if it wasn't perfect, that was a good thing."
Dale Earnhardt Jr.

"My sister was asking me what I was going to say and I told her I didn't have any idea, I was just going to go for it," he said. "It didn't have to be perfect. And maybe if it wasn't perfect, that was a good thing. I didn't want to set it up to where it was cheesy. I just wanted it to be natural and impromptu."

The response on social media, of course, filled Earnhardt's timelines. The best part: compliments from his friends to Amy and her positive impact on him, he said.

So what's next? The wedding date likely will be sometime next summer. And then ...

"The greatest accomplishment in life is to be able to raise a child," the 40-year-old Earnhardt said. "That would be awesome. ... That's definitely in the future. She wants to have kids and I've always kind of wanted to have kids. That definitely will be something we will be looking at."