As a businesswoman with strong roots in motor racing, Teresa Earnhardt stepped into the limelight after her marriage to a NASCAR legend. She is better known as the woman in whose arms Dale Earnhardt found love for the third time. Teresa and Dale’s union was quite remarkable as it was the longest marital bond of the seven-time NASCAR Cup champion until his tragic death in 2001. Find out lesser-known facts about Dale Earnhardt’s widow and businesswoman, who is now committed to keeping her late husband’s legacy alive.
Early Life of Dale Earnhardt’s Wife
North Carolina-born Teresa Houston was welcomed into the world on October 29, 1958. She grew up in her hometown and was raised decently like her father, Hal Houston was a successful businessman and an avid race car driver. Little or nothing is known about Teresa’s mother, Betty Houston, who lived mostly in the background. It is also uncertain whether she is an only child or has siblings.
Teresa was a very active and athletic student during her high school days at Bunker Hill High, North Carolina. She played various sports, including basketball, and was on the school team. Although the name of the high school institution she attended was not disclosed, it is common knowledge that Earnhardt holds a college degree specializing in commercial art and interior design.
Teresa Earnhardt’s Family
There has been a lack of information about the romance of Teresa and Dale Earnhardt from the beginning. However, it is no secret that Teresa is the third and last woman in the NASCAR legend. The couple exchanged their marriage vows on November 14, 1982. Their marriage was the longest as they remained together as husband and wife until the untimely death of the NASCAR driver in February 2001. Dale Earnhardt died in an accident on the final lap of the Daytona 500 at the Daytona International Speedway.
Before Dale Earnhardt, there is no record of Teresa Earnhardt’s dating history. On the other hand, before Teresa, her famous husband had two failed marriages. Dale Earnhardt’s first wife is Latane Brown. The former couple, who entered into a marriage in 1968, were married for only two years before separating in 1970.
The NASCAR legend soon moved on and found love in the arms of Brenda Lorraine Jackson, daughter of NASCAR manufacturer Robert Gee. Interestingly, Brenda’s father built cars for various racing drivers, and one of his customers was his son-in-law Dale. They exchanged vows in 1971, but like his previous marriage, the relationship was short-lived and lasted only six years. They officially separated in 1977.
As Brenda moved on and remarried Willie Jackson, a firefighter from Norfolk, Dale also found love in the arms of Teresa Houston. Unfortunately, Brenda Jackson died in April 2019 after a long fight against cancer. She was 65 years old.
The union of Teresa and Dale Earnhardt produced a daughter, Taylor Nicole, who was born in 1988. Teresa Earnhardt was also the stepmother of Dale’s children from his previous marriages. The late NASCAR driver and his first wife, Latane Brown, had a son, Kerry. His second marriage to Brenda Jackson also produced two children – Kelley King and Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Teresa Earnhardt’s biological daughter, Taylor, is the only Earnhardt child not involved in motor racing. She is a professional rodeo competitor and is involved in charitable causes with the Dale Earnhardt Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children and preserving wildlife. Taylor Earnhardt is married to Brandon Samuel Putnam, who owns a Charlotte-based grading and hauling company called Hi Tech Inc.
Teresa Earnhardt’s stepchildren followed in her father’s footsteps. Kerry Earnhardt is a retired NASCAR driver who supports his son, Jeffrey Earnhardt, in overseeing his racing career. Dale Jr, who drives for Hendrick Motorsports, is one of the most popular NASCAR drivers. Kelley Earnhardt Miller is known as co-owner and managing director of JR Motorsport, alongside her mother Brenda Jackson.
Where Is Teresa Earnhardt Now?
In her prime years, Teresa Earnhardt was more than a celebrity spouse but also a successful businesswoman. She was her late husband’s business partner and continued to run his company Dale Earnhardt, Inc. (DEI). Although Dale initially had plans of leaving DEI for his son, Dale Earnhardt Jr., his unexpected demise eventually left Teresa at the helm of affairs. The situation caused a strained relationship between her and her stepson Dale Earnhardt Jr. During its heydays, DEI was one of the more dominant teams in NASCAR. However, in November 2008, DEI merged with Chip Ganassi Racing to form Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.
Teresa Earnhardt now mostly devotes her time to the Dale Earnhardt Foundation which is dedicated to keeping her late husband’s legacy alive.