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

Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list; Musquin remains out

Shimoda injured
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
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Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.

“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”

Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.

The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.

Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.

Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.

Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.

Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.

Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”