Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Harvick Slams Teresa, Junior To The Defense

Kevin Harvick says he feels sorry for Dale Earnhardt Jr., calling Earnhardt’s team owner and stepmother, Teresa Earnhardt, a “deadbeat owner” who doesn’t care about her team.

During Richard Childress Racing’s portion of the annual NASCAR Media Tour yesterday in Charlotte, NC, Harvick blasted Teresa Earnhardt, saying, "It's hard when you have what I call a deadbeat owner that doesn't come to the racetrack. You always see Richard Childress. You always see Chip Ganassi. All these owners, they all come to the racetrack. It's not just a money pit that somebody says, 'Well, I can make money off of Dale Jr. I can make money off of Dale Earnhardt.'

"You have to be at the racetrack, you have to play the politics of the sport, you have to be a part of your team and you have to understand what's going on," Harvick said. "To me, from the outside looking in, it doesn't look like that's happening (at DEI). It's pretty obvious she's not around, and not at the racetrack. It doesn't seem she cares about it as much as some of the other owners do."

Harvick is hardly the first to criticize Teresa Earnhardt for her lack of visability in the Nextel Cup garage. No less than seven-time champion Richard Petty called her an "absentee owner" a few years ago. But just days after admitting that their relationship "ain't a bed of roses," Earnhardt, Jr., came to his stepmother’s defense, calling Harvick’s assessment "ridiculous.

"You're killing me," said a clearly uncomfortable Earnhardt. "I don't think there is a comment for that remark."

He said Teresa Earnhardt has had much to deal with since her husband’s death on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, adding, "with everything that's happened -- not just to the company, but to the family over the past five years -- she's had a full plate. The things that she's responsible for are very important. For a long time, the battle with [my father’s] autopsy photos, all those things, that's just the tip of the iceberg of things that she's been responsible for. That's probably been one reason why she hasn't been as visible at the racetrack. But she's taking care of things that are much [more] important."

For his part, Childress refused to be drawn into the debate over Teresa Earnhardt’s absence from the racetracks, electing instead to praise her widely acknowledged business acumen. "She's a really good businesslady," Childress said. "It's tough for women in this business. For her…to be able to do what she's done since 2001, she's done a phenomenal job.

"She's in a tough position. I think she's done well with it."


  1. Seems to me the dog piling on Teresa is a bit over the top. So she doesnt go to the races. Big Deal. She seems to be running a very successful business.

    Its seems like some think she just hand over a piece of the company to Jr.

    Junior definitely should have a say in some things but calling all the shots? I dont think so. Just because he's a good driver doesnt necessarily mean he should be running the business. In fact, I dont think Jr is qualified. Frankly he doesnt seem to be the sharpest tool in box.

    I'm sure things are being worked out just like any other business. If Jr. wants a piece of the business, I'm sure he can make Teresa an offer of which she can accept or decline.

  2. Happy spoke the gospel truth!

  3. Anonymous10:29 AM

    This was a story that started out ugly and had nowhere to go but down. Kudos to Jr. for taking the high road and hopefully putting it to rest. He's had a lot thrown his way the past few years and I wonder how many people could have handled it as well as he has.

    Is it time for racing yet?