As his racing career winds down, it’s a bittersweet time for Dale Earnhardt Jr. While he’s saying goodbye to being a race car driver, he’ll be adding a new role to his life. Yesterday, Earnhardt announced that he and his wife Amy are expecting their first child, a girl due in 2018.

Their love story

Growing up in one of NASCAR’s top families, racing was always in Earnhardt’s genes. The popular driver made his NASCAR debut in 2000, where he raced alongside his father, Dale Earnhardt Sr. A year later, the Earnhardt family and the racing community were hit with the tragic death of Dale Sr at the 2001 Daytona 500.

Following the death of his father, Junior became the new face of NASCAR. Fans of Earnhardt Sr looked for Dale Jr to carry on the family legacy. While he never won a championship, Junior did score two Daytona 500 victories and was voted NASCAR’s most popular driver 14 times. He also created his own racing team JR Motorsports, which is part of the Xfinity series. His race team has helped the careers of drivers such as Elliott Sadler, William Byron, and Chase Elliott.

In 2009, Earnhardt’s personal life took a turn for the better when he met Amy Reimann. Amy was working as an interior designer when she was hired by the driver to decorate his home. The two began dating and Amy soon began appearing at the race track with Junior.

While some fans weren’t pleased with the pairing, many of his supporters were happy to see their favorite driver find love.

In the summer of 2015, Junior proposed to Amy while on a vacation to Germany. The two tied the knot on New Year’s Eve 2016. Dale has credited his new wife for bringing joy into his life. Amy was a huge support to Dale throughout his career.

Last year, when the driver suffered a concussion that caused him to sit out most of the season, Amy helped him with his recovery. Amy also played a big part in Dale’s decision to retired following the 2017 season.

New beginning for Dale

Even though Earnhardt is retiring at the end of the year, the driver will continue to remain a big part of the racing community.

As the owner of JR Motorsports, he’ll still be making trips to the track to monitor his team. He’ll also be joining NBC Sports next year as the newest NASCAR analyst

But becoming a father is a role, Dale is most excited about. The driver and his wife have stated their desire to start a family, which played a huge part in Dale’s retirement. With a baby girl on the way, this is a joyous time for the couple. As for whether the new baby will follow in her father and grandfather’s footsteps, well only time will tell if she’ll carry on the racing legacy.