Even though it has been more than two years since the plane disaster that ki!!ed Dale Earnhardt Jr., his wife Amy, and their now 3-year-old daughter Isla Rose, are still experiencing “residual effects.”
Isla was only 15 months old when the disaster occurred, but the pair claims that their little daughter still struggles with flying in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE in conjunction with releasing their new High Rock Vodka.
Our daughter was on the flight with us, and I believe she was also affected. “It took me about a year before I could get on the plane and just not get super nervous but our daughter was in the plane with us too, and I think she had some residual effects,” says Amy, 39.
Isla “gets scared taking off,” the mother of two explains, so they “just hold her hand.” Amy continues, “But for a while, she would tremble and shake.” “It was before she was talking, so we really couldn’t talk through it with her. That was hard.”
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Isla is still getting used to being the significant sister role after her parents welcomed Nicole Lorraine, their second child, in October 2020.
Amy acknowledges that although Isla is “doing better” now that she is an older sibling, “She didn’t want to be a big sister” at first.
She quips, “It was not her idea. “So at first she really just ignored the whole thing. She didn’t pay attention to me being pregnant and didn’t want to answer questions about being a big sister.”
However, after some time, “They’re playing together,” Amy says. “I think since Nicole is old enough to talk to her and chase her around the house, she’s having a lot more fun with it.”
Earnhardt Jr. retired from competitive racing in 2017 and was recently inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He constantly thinks about the future and what he can leave for his daughters.
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Since Amy and I are expanding our family, he says, “Now that me and Amy are growing our family, you certainly are thinking about your kids and that generation and beyond, and what you can pass on to them,”
“So I’ve been looking at opportunities to become owners of the brands we work with and the companies we work with, take ownership in some of the projects.”
Along with the opportunity to collaborate, Earnhardt Jr., 47, and Amy formed a partnership to launch High Rock Vodka.
He continues, “We’re just excited to get this vodka out there to everybody and start getting some real feedback from customers on how they feel about it,” “We’re pretty proud of it.”
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