Friday, July 27, 2007

Broken Families: How Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Sided With Hendrick Motorsports

By Bobby

I wrote this to Cathy of Alex recently, and after thinking about it, I have written something that matters about broken families.

In the recent deal by race car driver Dale Earnhardt Jr to join Hendrick Motorsports in 2008, one of the more important stories of this issue has not been discussed as it should have been discussed.

Since the free-love society of the 1960's, we have seen an unfortunate scene of broken marriages, and family conflicts caused by such broken marriages. The Earnhardt family has been the scene of broken
marriages, on two different generations of Earnhardts, affecting three different generations of the family. Three of the four Earnhardt children were byproducts of such corruption by Dale Earnhardt, Sr, and one of those has has developed a broken family himself.

Dale Earnhardt's first marriage was to Latane Brown when he was just 17, and it only lasted from 1968 until 1970. This marriage produced Dale's first child at 18, Kerry (born 1969). This marriage ended just one year after Kerry's birth. Brown married another man, who adopted the young Kerry, who rarely saw his biological father until he was 16. Kerry himself married young and with his first wife, had two children, Jeffrey and Bobby. Jeffrey Earnhardt is now racing in the NASCAR Grand National East Series, recently racing in Elko (MN) for the Grand National East-West Shootout, for Andy Santerre. Kerry divorced too early and married another woman, and the blended Earnhardts are Kerry (with Bobby and Jeffrey), wife Rene (who has a daughter, Blade), and also their daugher Kayla.

Dale Earnhardt's second marriage was to Brenda Gee, from 1971 until 1977. This marriage lasted longer, but too ended in divorce, after two children, Kelley (now the Mrs. Jimmy Elledge) in 1972, and the eponymous Dale Jr. in 1974. Gee, the daughter of famed race car constructor Robert Gee, has a sister, Sandra, who married racing mechanic Tony Eury, in another marriage that failed.

In 1983, Charlotte-area automobile dealer Joseph Riddick Hendrick III joined forces with Robert Gee to form All Star Racing to field a Pontiac Ventura for the Mello Yello 300 Late Model Sportsman (now Busch Series) race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Dale Earnhardt drove the car to victory, the first of over 200 wins for what is now Hendrick Motorsports.

By that time, Dale Earnhardt had dated, and found another woman in his life, Teresa Houston, the daughter of local racer Hal Houston (Hal's brother Tommy was another driver -- started the first 360 Busch Series
races in the series, 1982-94). This marriage lasted over 18 years until Dale's death in 2001. They had one daughter, Taylor Nicole.

When considering the troubles of a blended family, and custody issues that permeated the Earnhardt family because of the excessive number of marriages and divorces, and the children from the Earnhardt family coming from different women, it should be known that Dale Earnhardt Jr and Kelley Earnhardt Elledge both have the same mother, the current Brenda Gee Jackson.

Obviously, when Dale Earnhardt Jr was less than three years old when his parents divorced, there will always be the conflict between father and mother. With custody issues always being there, Earnhardt probably shared more time with Gee than Earnhardt in the early days. Gee's father Robert (who died in 1994) was a noted chassis fabricator, and her brothers Robert Jr. and Jimmy (now at JR Motorsports) also were involved as they grew into the Gee chassis shop, where many NASCAR teams in the had their chassis

Children were more likely to side with their mother, especially when their father was absent-minded and because of divorce, was unable to see him often.

When Gee fell ill with terminal cancer, Hendrick didn't forget his first employee, and supported Gee's grandchildren, which include Dale J and Kelley, and even Tony Eury Jr. (mother Sandra is Brenda's sister).

So it seemed Dale Earnhardt Jr and Hendrick Motorsports is not an issue of just one person, but the legacy of how one man helped his grandfather, and a grandson repaying the man who helped his late grandfather. It seemed he had gravitated towards his mother's side of the family – JR Motorsports has the three Gees (Brenda, Jimmy, Robert Jr) working for the team, and Rick Hendrick admitted that in Junior, he saw the same thing as he could see in his uncles, and his late grandfather.

So it seems Dale Earnhardt Jr, after all of these years, has seen how his mother has been a bigger influence than his father. His grandfather's friend gave him a shot to join a team that started with his grandfather and a Charlotte car dealer's dream, and led into six Daytona 500 wins and ten NASCAR championships.


  1. Bobby: I'm glad you decided to blog this. I know many Jr. fans who are really upset with his move to Hendrick but I think your post provides some reasons why he chose Hendrick.

  2. We live in the society of failed marriages, too many divorces, and children being shuttled around different family members in custody battles.

    The Earnhardt situation is an excellent sociological answer to how broken families affect children, and in this case, how the child chose to be with his mother's side of the family.

  3. you should be ashamed to have the name bobby and y is ur last name chang u probably only no about dale sr's divorces and nothing else about racing and before u bash someone for providing everything for that child and the rest of his think first his dad died only a decade ago do u really think he jr would want to see this stuff about his dad who he idolized or else he probably wouldnt like racing if he didnt think before you post stuff and learn a little more about racing you might get some friends

  4. Jr wldnt be where hes at now...if it wasnt for his dad....

    1. U might ought to know what u'r talking about before you spout off ur' mouth. Point being, his Mom was always there for Dale Jr and believe it or not that say's it all. He is where he's at because he wants to be where he is and his Mom has supported him all the way. Learn to read, u might learn something! I found out long ago, none of us are judge or jury of anyone. I'm thankful God is judge!

    2. And Dale Sr. Wouldn't of been where he was if not for his dad Ralf. What's your point douchebag? Racing is a Earnheart God given family tradition. Anyone of them has more wins and money then you lol

    3. First off douche bag if it wasn't for dale Sr non of the drivers or teamsomething would be making any where near the money they are.
      Sr is the man that came up with the building of the machine that drove all the sales of all the racing memorabilia that we are able to buy online and races.the reason he and dale Jr make $ 50 million a yr on sales of stuff like die cast cars trucks and shirts hats coats and all the other things they sell.
      All the other drivers have boosted there huge incomes because of what dale Sr started with his company.
      And with his 7 championships made it that much more possible for him to develop his sales Inc business
      So you my duoche, need to get your facts strait before you try to degrade a man who ran Nascar as a driver for yes .they didn't make changes unless Sr approved it.
      Dale Jr kerry Kelly and Taylor all looked up to there dad divorse or not.
      How dare you put a great man like dale Sr down.he gave to charities and his friends and strangers alike to help ppl.but no one knows these good things about him.I met Sr 3 different times,once it was just me him and Taylor outside his old Busch shop behind the massive buildings that are there niw.he treated me like he new me for yes and a friend.met him at the dealership in newton/conover.he came over and opened the door for me and my dad and shook our hands and asked how we were doing.talked racing and how we were doing.just a wonderful man.
      So please rethink trashing a great American man who gave to all one way or the other.

  5. Liz Fernandez8/10/13, 2:52 AM

    you are so silly Lane Frost....famous name MAY open doors but after that it's on the individual to keep them doors open. the point is that's his I care where he got and, I know he's paving his own way living by his own rules and LOVING it.

  6. Dale Jr's mother may have "been a bigger influence than his father" to him, but Dale, Sr, got custody of Kelley & Dale, Jr after the divorce. While Dale, Jr, is still single in 2014 sister Kelley is in her 3rd marriage.

    1. Dale Jr will do it one time with the baby doll he's just engaged last yr and have babies and live happily together forever.he waited and doing it all worked out for the best after all divorces, and dale Kelly jerry and Taylor are the product of a great life time of dale and whoever the moms were.doesn't matter.what matters is the good Lord led them all threw it and dales very happy and also has his mom in a home on his land with him so it's just great

  7. Always knew there was a sound reason why Dale Jr. went to Hendrick. ( :

  8. What makes you think divorce would be the cause of broken families? My father was murder when I was 10 years old. This totally fucked up the family. My mothers siblings were ass holes, putting her down and saying she didn't know anything about raising kids. Then these Aunts and Uncles started having their kids. In my family I got into the most trouble (speeding tickets and running four way stops signs), that gave the aunts and uncles something to really put her down with. I have one cousin who killed someone in a DUI accident. One cousin who has a granny fixation. Another one uses drugs. And I can't even tell you how many drunken cousin I have. And I'm the bad one!!! I'll take a divorce over murder any day. Also it was my Daddy who brought these ass holes from Ireland, gave them a place to live, got them jobs and set up with places to live. Then he's killed and they shit all over his kids. Well this is one broken family that no chance of ever seeing one another again. Yeah, I'm bitter.

    1. Man I for one want to say I am truly sorry you lost your dad.and the family has turned so selfish in everyway.
      It's sad to here stories like yours.but I have to say that because you were not given the step up in life to get a good start that you should take what's happened to you and use it as a push to want to make your life different and a lot better for you and you wife and kids.
      Life is hard enough not having your downfalls but it should Make you want to show all your stupid mean relatives that your better then them and prove it by getting all you can out of life like your daddy would want you to.make you'd daddy proud as he looks over you from above.
      I wish you the very best cabbie.

  9. I never knew this. Thanks for the history.

    Turn the page.

  10. that's what I conjointly accustomed suppose till I watch nfl games online started looking for tickets, myself.


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