Name calling: Girlfriend calls him something other than Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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Hey there, Ralphie boy!

No, we’re not talking about Art Carney calling Jackie Gleason in The Honeymooners.

(If you’re under 20, we understand if you’re asking “Art, who?” or “Jackie, who?”)

And no, we’re not talking about the Karate Kid, Ralph Macchio (who, at 52 now, is obviously no longer a kid).

The Ralph we are talking about is one Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Admit it, how many of you diehard Junior fans knew his legal first name was Ralph, and not Dale?

And while everyone calls him Dale or Junior or JR, one person who has gotten very close to him prefers to call him by his given name.

Amy Reimann, Junior’s girlfriend, has apparently taken to calling him a name everyone else doesn’t – other than maybe his mother – namely, Ralph (see Junior’s tweet below).

(Junior’s late father, Dale Sr., was also named Ralph, both in honor of family patriarch — Dale Sr.’s father and Dale Jr.’s grandfather — the late Ralph Earnhardt.)

We learned about Amy’s fondness of calling her beloved Ralph from, what else, Twitter, during a Q&A session Wednesday.

Speaking of Twitter, Dale … uh, err .. Ralph, has obviously become quite the tweeter, it would appear.

Earnhardt, who resisted tweeting until starting the night he won the Daytona 500 last month, has already pumped out more than 700 – an average of more than 25 tweets a day!

He’s also picked up more than 100,000 new Twitter followers. He had over 500,000 even before his first tweet hit the so-called twitter-sphere after the 500.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.