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Dale Earnhardt Jr. & Amy Earnhardt: A Winning Spirit

Racing into his next chapter, the NASCAR legend and his wife have teamed up with Sugarlands Distilling Company to launch a new line of vodka.

The Earnhardts next venture didn’t have to be vodka.

As it turns out, vodka is Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s drink of choice. Plus, he and his wife, Amy, already had a relationship with Sugarlands Distilling Company.

But more than convenience, Earnhardt Jr. wanted the chance to develop something quality enough to generate loyal customers on its own — beyond the fact he is one of the most recognizable NASCAR drivers to ever take the track.

“I want people to like this product and appreciate it and maybe not even know who’s behind it,” Dale Jr. told Boardroom. “At some point, it’s got to stand on its own and it’s got to succeed because of the quality of the drink.”

That mindset drove Dale and Amy to launch High Rock, their new brand of premium vodka by Sugarlands.

The drink? It’s 88 proof, in honor of the number Dale Jr. drove for a decade in NASCAR’s Cup Series. The water, taken from the Great Smoky Mountains, is triple-filtered and distilled seven times — resulting in what Sugarland says is “an undeniably smooth and pure” taste.

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The relationship between the Earnhardts and Sugarlands began last September when Dale Jr. was looking for a project in which he could own equity, rather than just having a sponsorship, like much of what he’s done in the past.

When Sugarlands decided to launch High Rock, it was the perfect opportunity. And, as Dale Jr. pointed out, having Amy on board would make everything easier — from discussing how to market the vodka to what the bottle design should look like.

Dale Jr. and Amy Earnhardt (via Sugarlands)

“We got such a close relationship personally, so it’s not really all that challenging to be on the same page in terms of trying to create a successful product,” he said. “When it all comes down to it, I’ve been doing photoshoots and commercials for years, and it’s a whole lot more fun when you do it with someone you enjoy being around.”

Amy echoed that sentiment, admitting that while she’s not as comfortable in front of the camera as her husband — he has had years to get used to the limelight — she’s enjoyed the ride and is eager to do even more.

“Being able to grow our relationship with Sugarlands is important,” she said. “It feels like a family-oriented kind of thing that makes it enjoyable for everybody.”

The partnership feeling family-oriented matters because Dale and Amy want to pass High Rock on to their children when the time comes, as they mentioned more than once while speaking to Boardroom. After marrying on New Year’s Eve 2016, they welcomed their daughter, Isla Rose, in spring 2018. Nicole Lorraine arrived in October 2020.

For now, the launch is taking up the bulk of the couple’s time — and that’s not a bad thing. This is the first business opportunity they have worked on together, and they are playing off of each other’s strengths. The focus will soon shift to distribution, making sure High Rock is available to vodka drinkers nationwide.

They know that the work is only beginning, but the challenge is exhilarating.

” I learned through broadcasting and other things that there’s wins and losses outside the race car,” Dale said. “You don’t have to drive a race car to feel that adrenaline rush. Now, we can try to do that together.”

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