Dale Earnhardt Jr. plays the role of cowboy during a shoot for the 2013 Sprint All-Star Race commercial. The ad was filmed on the Western town located on Earnhardt's property. / Jeff Gluck, USA TODAY Sports
MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- In a place Dale Earnhardt Jr. once preferred to keep out of the public eye, NASCAR's biggest star said drivers' personal lives are largely "fair game" for the media to discuss.
"As long as it's not hurtful for someone to go through," Earnhardt said, the NASCAR media seems to respect the "gentlemen's agreement among everybody (of) what's fair and what's not."
"Your personal life, who you're dating, when you're getting married, where you're going to get married, what you do with your time off or your hobbies, I think that's totally fair game," he added.
In the past couple years, Earnhardt has been more open than ever. He started bringing his girlfriend of nearly three years, Amy Reimann, to public events after shielding her from fans and media during the first part of their relationship.
Earnhardt said he didn't believe Danica Patrick's romantic relationship with fellow driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. would cause any problems in the NASCAR garage.
"It's whatever people want to do to make themselves happy," he said. "I think they've got a lot in common. They enjoy racing. You know, I didn't think it was a big deal, to be honest with you."
Earnhardt's comments on privacy came while standing in an area he used to be much more hesitant to discuss: The old Western town located on his property dubbed Whisky River.
Charlotte Motor Speedway spent the day filming scenes in the old-time saloon located in the town, since this year's Sprint All-Star Race commercial will again have a Western theme. Earnhardt agreed to let the track use his property for the commercial shoot.
Earnhardt was on the set, along with Richard Petty, Jeff Hammond and Ray Evernham. Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin also have roles in the commercial, which will debut during Daytona Speedweeks.
The town, which has buildings including a jail (with cells), a hotel (with beds where guests can sleep) and even a church, was once something Earnhardt preferred to keep out of the public eye.
His dad was a "really, really private" man, Earnhardt said, and the son followed suit when it came to things such as Whisky River.
"I just get nervous about showing off material things that are expensive," Earnhardt said. "When you build something like this, people might (say), 'Man, that's cool' and some people might say, 'That's just a guy with a lot of money making dumb decisions.'
"And I didn't want to have to listen to that. That's probably why I was a little apprehensive about (discussing) this particular place."
Follow Jeff Gluck on Twitter @jeff_gluck
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Read the original story: Dale Earnhardt Jr. talks privacy, Danica dating