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Sprint Cup Series

Dale Jr. confirms wedding date, gives health update

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Amy Reimann

LAS VEGAS -- Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s offseason plans include a test to confirm the Hendrick Motorsports driver is fit and ready to return to competition.

Wedding bells will be a part of the brief break as well.

The sport's most popular driver confirmed Friday night that he and fiancée Amy Reimann will be married on New Year's Eve.

MORE: Junior wins 2016's Sprint Most Popular Driver Award

"It's only a few weeks away," Earnhardt said after accepting his 14th-consecutive National Motorsports Press Association Sprint Most Popular Driver award during ceremonies at the Wynn Las Vegas. "Amy spilled the beans tonight that we're getting married on New Year's Eve. I'm really excited and have enjoyed going through the process. I've never been married before and I'm excited to be marrying Amy."

Earnhardt, 42, and Reimann became engaged last year during a trip to Germany. He said he is looking forward to being involved in all the planning for the upcoming event.

"I told her that when we were starting to plan that I wanted to be at every function and (a part of) every decision; I want to be involved in all the planning because I don't want to get married and then go 'yeah man, picking the flowers or whatever, what was that like? What did I miss?' I don't want to miss anything," he said.

"I'm so excited, so thrilled to be a part of it and I look forward to our future."

The winner of 26 NASCAR premier series races, including a pair of Daytona 500 titles, Earnhardt was sidelined for the final 18 races of the 2016 season after suffering concussion-like symptoms following crashes in two races this past summer. He has worked diligently with doctors to return to competition, and is expected to be cleared to compete when the 2017 season gets underway in February at Daytona.

MORE: Relive all of Junior's wins | Dale Jr. on offseason: We're going testing

"I'll be happy to tell you guys what we've got planned when the time is right," he said of an effort to test before returning to competition. "We do have a good plan and NASCAR has been very easy to work with. They made a new rule for situations for drivers like this to allow a driver to get back on the track in a bit of an open test without any data acquisition or anything like that on the car. We'll get out there and spend half a day somewhere running some long runs and getting a good idea of whether I'm ready to go.

"I feel 100 percent; I don't think we're going to have any issues. If all that goes as planned, we'll go to the Phoenix test which is a NASCAR test in January and will be plugged back in to work just right where we were when we started last year."

Earnhardt is the son of seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt. In addition to competing for Hendrick Motorsports in NASCAR's premier series, he co-owns JR Motorsports, an XFINITY Series organization which will field four full-time teams in that series in 2017. JRM also fielded an entry in the Camping World Truck Series in 2016 for driver Cole Custer.

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