Ricky and Emily met in 1999 while they both vacationed in Key West, Fla. As it turned out, their families were building houses next to each other's and they became easy best friends. Soon, they began seeing each other frequently on weekends and speaking incessantly on the phone during the week, while Emily lived full time in Florida and Ricky in North Carolina.
In May of 2004, Emily permanently relocated from Palm Beach to Charlotte and the longtime couple got engaged. Less than six months later, before they were married, Ricky was tragically killed in a plane crash en route to Martinsville Speedway along with nine other members of the Hendrick Motorsports and NASCAR families.
On October 29, 2004, just five days following the crash, Emily learned she was pregnant with her betrothed's child. She gave birth to their daughter, Josephine Riddick "Ricki" Hendrick, eight months later on June 29. Emily says, "She is by far the best thing that has ever happened to me."
Earlier this year, Emily, who hadn't dated since Ricky's death, stepped onto
the dating scene for the first time with none other than NASCAR's most eligible bachelor,
Dale Earnhardt Jr. They had already been acquainted for a couple of years, having met throught Ricky. Although the two were never officially a couple, they dated casually for several weeks and remain friends.
Emily and Ricki currently reside in Charlotte in the same house in which Emily lived with Ricky. Mom and daughter enjoy their intimate relationship with the extended Hendrick family.
Emily's birthdate is Feb. 1, 1986.
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This post was updated on May 9, 2006.