"But, I've got to put myself through those situations for that to sort of correct itself. Collins) said, the anxiety and the nervousness of the whole process drives all that and makes it much more than it really is.

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In post-race interviews after his win at Talladega Superspeedway in May 2015, Earnhardt reflected on what Reimann has meant to him.

Before they began dating, Earnhardt said, he was much more reluctant to attend functions both at home and on race weekends at the track, according to Fox Sports.

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) " data-medium-file="https://heavyeditorial.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/gettyimages-6272743561.jpg?

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“I was miserable that she wasn’t here,” he told the AP at Talladega.

“It just proves to me how much she means to me and how important she is to me.

was "pretty sick" when he was diagnosed with a concussion eight weeks ago and faced a long, hard road while recovering.

He is making significant progress, however, and credits not only his doctors but also the help of his family and friends.

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Hendrick Motorsports announced that Earnhardt, the son of the late NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt, will retire from the NASCAR Cup Series after 18 seasons.