Teresa Earnhardt

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Teresa Earnhardt
DaleAndTeresaEarnhardt.jpg
Teresa (right) with Dale Earnhardt
Born Teresa Houston
December 20, 1958
Hickory, North Carolina
Known for NASCAR team owners

Teresa Earnhardt (née Houston) is the third wife and widow of Dale Earnhardt. She is the biological mother of Taylor Nicole Earnhardt (born December 20, 1988) and she is the stepmother of Kerry Earnhardt, Kelley Earnhardt Miller and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Teresa is currently the president and Chief Executive Officer of Dale Earnhardt Inc.. She was the first woman in NASCAR history to own a team.

Early life[edit]

Teresa was born in Hickory, North Carolina the daughter of Hal Houston and the niece of Tommy Houston, legendary Busch Series driver. Teresa is a graduate of Bunker Hill High School in Claremont, NC where she was on the varsity cheerleading squad. She has a degree in commercial art and interior design.[1] Teresa met Dale Earnhardt, NASCAR driver, at a race in the late 1970s. The two married November 14, 1982. It was Dale's third marriage. They lived on a 300-plus acre farm near Mooresville, North Carolina. Taylor Nicole Earnhardt was born to the couple on December 20, 1988.[2] Dale died racing the Daytona 500 in 2001.

NASCAR career[edit]

Dale Earnhardt Incorporated[edit]

Teresa headed Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (DEI) during four Busch Series championships in 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2005 plus two Craftsman Truck Series championships in 1996 and 1997.[1] Her first Daytona 500 win as a team owner occurred when driver of the #15 Chevrolet driven by Michael Waltrip won at the 2001 Daytona 500. This was the same race in which her husband Dale Earnhardt was killed in a crash during the final lap of the race.[3]

In late 2006, Earnhardt hired entertainment executive Max Siegel as President of Global Operations to help DEI expand into the entertainment industry. On July 25, 2007, DEI Merged with Ginn Racing with Bobby Ginn gaining a part ownership in DEI.[4]

Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Merger[edit]

Teresa was unable to retain the sponsorships of Budweiser and US Army who pulled support following the exit of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. This was a major factor leading to the merger with Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in November 2008 that formed Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.[5] In 2010, the team won the Daytona 500 with Jamie McMurray.[6] McMurray kept winning in 2010, picking up wins at Indianapolis, and Charlotte; his teammate Juan Pablo Montoya picked up a win at Watkins Glen.

In 2011, 2012, and 70% of 2013 the team was winless; until McMurray won at Talladega in October 2013.

In January 2014, anything left of DEI was absorbed by Ganassi's operations, and Earnhardt's name was taken off the team title. When Chip Ganassi was asked why he released Teresa from the team, he replied "She was a good partner to us, but she was no longer there...she must have other things better to do, so we bought her share of the team and reverted the name."

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Teresa Houston and Dale Earnhardt, Sr". Marriage.about.com. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  3. ^ "News & Media". NASCAR.com. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  4. ^ By A.J. Perez, Usa Today (2007-04-08). "Newcomer Siegel looks to steer Earnhardt Inc. to top". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  5. ^ [2][dead link]
  6. ^ 2/14/2010 (2010-02-14). "Jamie McMurray Wins 52nd Annual Daytona 500". Daytona International Speedway. Retrieved 2014-03-17.