Teresa Earnhardt was thrust into ownership of a business the same day that a crash killed her husband, but through all the hardship she worked to keep her husband’s legacy alive.
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Early life and education
Teresa Earnhardt (nee Houston) was born 28 October 1958 in Hickory, North Carolina, USA. Her father is Hal Houstan and her uncle is Tommy Houston, both famous Busch series race car drivers. She attended Bunker Hill High School located in Claremont, North Carolina, then attend university where she received her degree in interior design and commercial art.
Earnhardt is most famous for being the owner of NASCAR team Dale Earnhardt Inc for the duration of four Busch Series Championships from 1998 – 2005 as well as two championships in 1996 and 1998 in the Craftsman Truck Series. In 2001 her team won their first Daytona 500 with driver Michael Waltrip, the same race that her husband Dale was killed in, because of an accident that occured on the last lap.
Max Siegel was hired by Dale Earnhardt Inc. in 2006 as the president of Global Operations to help the company break into the entertainment industry.
A year later the company purchased Ginn Racing.
Teresa had a very tense relationship with Dale Earnhardt Jr. her stepson, which became even worse when he announced at the end of May 2007 that he would not be returning to Dale Earnhardt Inc for the 2008 season, because of disagreements with his three siblings about the rightful ownership of the family business. After that, Teresa struggled to keep her sponsors Budweiser and US army, and it was because of this that the team merged with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, forming Ganassi Racing in November of 2008.
Two years later the teams’ driver Jamie McMurray won the Daytona 500.
In 2014 Ganassi Racing bought out Teresa’s share of ownership, and the team went back to the name Chip Ganassi Racing. When asked why the he decided to buy her out, Chip Ganassi said ‘Teresa was a good partner but she was no longer there. So I just bought her share of the team and reverted the name.’
Dale Earnhardt Inc is still operational in Moorseville, North Carolina, as the most prominent company of the Earnhardt Businesses.
Teresa still works to keep her late husband’s legacy alive through the Dale Earnhardt Foundations work.
Teresa was most famously married to race car driver Dale Earnhardt. Ralph Dale Earnhardt Sr. was born on 29 April 1951, the youngest of three children born to Martha Earnhardt and driver Ralph Earnhardt. His racing career began in 1975 when he participated in the world 600 series for the Winston Cup Series in 1975.
He is still today considered one of NASCAR’s greatest drivers ever.
In his career he won a total of 76 races in the Winston Cup, including the 1998 Daytona 500. His driving angry driving style earned him a string of nicknames such as the intimidator, ironhead and the man in black.
In 1968 Dale married his first wife Latane Brown at just 17 years old. Together they had a son Kerry, but just a year later the couple divorced. His second wife was the daughter of NASCAR car builder Robert Gee, Brenda Gee. In 1972 the couple welcomed their daughter Kelley King Earnhardt, and two years later in 1974 their son Dale Earnhardt Jr., but it wasn’t long after their son was born that the couple called it quits, and finalised their divorce.
In 1982 Dale married his third and last wife Teresa Houstan. Six years later in 1988 the couple had a daughter, Taylor Nicole Earnhardt. Today Taylor and Brandon Putman her husband are professional performers on the rodeo circuit. In February 2001 Dale drove his final race when he was tragically killed in an accident on the final lap of the Daytona 500. He as since been inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in the inaugural class, as well as many other halls of fame.
Sources state that Earnhardt’s net worth is estimated at $60 million, as of early 2020.
Teresa is 6ft (1.85m) tall and weighs 145lbs (65kgs).
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Ralph Dale Earnhrdt Jr. was born on 10 October 1974, is a professional stock car driver who is now semi-retired. He works for NASCAR on NBC as an analyst and team owner, as he completes part time in the NASCAR xfinity series for his racing ream JR Motorsports, driving the number 8 Chevrolet.
Dale has achieved great success over this career and his success at the Daytona International Speedway has gained him the nickname of ‘The Pied Piper’. In 2004 and 2014 he came first in the Daytona 500, and from 2003 to 2017 won the Most Popular Driver Award fifteen times in a row.
After driving for the team his father owned in the NASCAR cup series, in 2008 he switched to drive for Hendrick Motorsports to drive number 88. It was there that he stayed until he retired from being a full-time driver in 2017. After 26 wins he retired in the top 40 drivers in the history of NASCAR.