Dale Earnhardt Jr., Amy Earnhardt Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 12: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, and his wife Amy stand on the grid prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 12, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

It all began innocently enough — NASCAR favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the pole at Daytona International Speedway, thus securing a spot in the 2018 Clash at Daytona.

The only problem was that Dale Jr. is retiring at the end of 2017.

RELATED: Amy Earnhardt stands up for her man, Dale Jr., in gutsy series of tweets

Soon after grabbing the pole, Dale Jr. mentioned that he would need to consult his wife, Amy, about whether he’d race in the event. Amy then made her feelings known in a series of tweets on July 18, confirming she wasn’t all in with the idea of Dale Jr. racing next year, and got some flack for it from her husband’s fans. Just a few days later, on July 22, Dale Jr. addressed the controversy.

RELATED: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and wife Amy find themselves in “a colossal mess”

“She had to put something out because she felt like she needed to say something,” Dale Jr. said during a press gathering at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the Brantley Gilbert Big Machine Brickyard 400 will take place July 23. “I put her in that position … but she’s been there for everything, and a lot of folks that may have a different opinion about it weren’t there through the whole process. And so, if anyone knows how difficult it was … it would be her. It wasn’t a lot of fun for her.”

And yes, Dale Jr. admitted he just might have stirred things up for Amy.

“Yeah, I kind of threw her under the bus there and probably should have never even mentioned it,” he said. “It put her in a tough spot and she felt like she had to voice some sort of a statement about it, and I thought she handled it well. For no more characters than she used, I thought she got her point across.”

Tricia Despres is a senior correspondent for Rare Country, based out of Chicago. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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