There have lengthy existed assumptions that Dale Earnhardt’s NASCAR profession meant simple occasions for his household at house.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the remainder of his siblings have lengthy attested that the alternative is true. The Earnhardts went via quite a few hardships, noticed their father have four children with three women, and didn’t fairly benefit from the lifetime of luxurious that many would suppose.
Issues have been so unhealthy at one level that Kerry Earnhardt, Dale’s older brother, needed to stop highschool. Nevertheless, issues are extra difficult in that story than one might imagine.
Kerry Earnhardt is Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s older half-brother
Though Dale Earnhardt Jr. is his father’s namesake, he was not the primary of Dale Sr.’s kids.
That honor goes to Kerry Earnhardt, whose mom, Latane Brown, was Earnhardt Sr.’s first spouse. When Kerry was born in 1969, his father was lower than six years away from debuting on the Cup Sequence degree.
Dale Sr. and Brown divorced when Kerry was solely a 12 months outdated. Brown later remarried, and Kerry later took his stepfather’s final title, Key, as a substitute of Earnhardt.
Earnhardt Sr. remarried in 1971, this time with Brenda Gee, and the 2 had two kids collectively: Kelley and Dale Jr., who have been born in 1972 and 1974, respectively. Dale Jr. additionally has one other half-sister, Taylor, who was born in 1988 throughout Earnhardt Sr.’s third and remaining marriage.
Kerry dropped out of highschool to assist his household
By the mid-Eighties, Dale Earnhardt Sr. was getting into the prime years of a legendary NASCAR profession.
His first-born baby, Kerry, wasn’t so fortunate. Whereas his start father was successful the Cup Sequence, Kerry was dropping out of highschool to maintain his household.
Kerry mentioned his upbringing in a 2002 interview with the Hartford Courant (Conn.). The eldest Earnhardt baby stated he wasn’t curious about racing or watching his father’s profession.
As an alternative, Kerry did every thing that he might to make ends meet, realizing that his father wasn’t coming via to bail everybody out together with his Cup Sequence earnings.
“That taught me how you can respect what you’re employed laborious to get. He by no means had something given to him and that taught him how you can work laborious for every thing. I do know he wished me to know that, too.”
Kerry adopted in his father’s footsteps in additional methods than one. He had two kids by age 20 and delay his racing profession to give attention to them.
Kerry later participated in seven Cup Sequence races from 2000-05. He additionally recorded six top-10 finishes throughout 72 races from 1998-2009 in what’s now the Xfinity Sequence.
This was occurring amid Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s prime
It may be laborious to listen to about Kerry Earnhardt’s personal battles realizing who his father and brother are.
Issues turn out to be tougher when one thinks in regards to the timeline. Kerry was born in December 1969 and would have been in highschool in the course of the mid to late-Eighties.
Dale Earnhardt Sr. received the Cup Sequence for the primary time in 1980. From 1983-91, Earnhardt by no means completed decrease than eighth within the Cup Sequence standings.
Whereas that was occurring, his son pumped fuel and labored at Pizza Hut in order that his circle of relatives had cash. That’s a troublesome life for any younger grownup, not to mention somebody whose father is among the many best racers ever.