Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Mother, Brenda Jackson, Dead at 65

Brenda Jackson, mother of retired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kelley Earnhardt Miller, has passed away at the age of 65.

JR Motorsports announced her passing via a statement on their official site, noting that she had been a longtime employee with the company and was known for her "wit, charisma and unparalleled ability to cut to the heart of any matter."

The statement notes that Jackson had been battling with cancer.

Jackson -- born Brenda Gee -- had been with JR Motosports for the past 15 years, but had been connected to autoracing and NASCAR for far longer. She is the daughter of legendary NASCAR fabricator Robert Gee, the man who helped build several winning cars for racers. This includes Jackson's future husband, Dale Earnhardt.

Jackson and Dale Sr. were married in 1972, giving birth to Dale Jr. and Kelley before eventually splitting a few years later. The kids stayed with their mother according to the statement, while Dale Sr. worked to get his legendary career underway.

Her time at JR Motorsport began as an accounting specialist in 2004, helping it to grow into a full-time NASCAR operation by 2006 that eventually won championships by 2014.

(Photo: Kelley Earnhardt / Twitter)

Kelley shared a statement on her mother's passing with fans on Twitter, referring to Jackson as "my biggest advocate and my friend."

"No more suffering & no more pain...made new in the arms of Jesus, reunited w/ones she loves & as a believer I’ll be reunited w/ her one day," Kelley wrote. "Thank you to all that are offering your prayers, hugs & support."

Fox Sports NASCAR analyst Larry McReynolds also shared a touching message from everybody at NASCAR on Fox and Fox Sports 1, sending thoughts and prayers to Dale Jr. and his sister following the loss of their mother.

"We all at [NASCAR on Fox and Fox Sports 1] send our thoughts & prayers out to [Dale Jr. and Kelley Earnhardt] and the entire Earnhardt Family in the loss of a Very Special Woman, Brenda Jackson, Your Mom!" McReynolds wrote on Twitter. "She is in a much better place now than we are!"

JR Motorsports also shared a lovely video tribute to Brenda following the passing, capturing the presence they wrote about in the initial announcement.

Fans chimed in after watching, saying Jackson was "beautiful inside and out" and that the video was so "eloquent and touching."

"Great tribute to Brenda, lucky to be that close to her children for so long. But dang...gone way too soon," another fan wrote in response to the video.

On her work with JR Motorsport, Jackson was gushing with joy over the chance to work with her kids according to the statement.


“I am a very, very lucky woman, as I get to interact with my kids almost every day,” Jackson said in 2018 according to JR Motorsports' announcement. “I've got two bright, beautiful kids that I am very proud of. Kelley’s standards are very high. She conducts herself that way and she expects that of everyone else. Dale Jr. just gets bigger and bigger. I am very proud of his accomplishments, but as a mother I am proudest of the way he handles himself with honesty and the way he cares about his family and his friends.”

Jackson is survived by her children, both with Earnhardt and second husband William M. Jackson Jr., her brothers, Robert and Jimmy Gee, and her Pekingnese dog, Scully. Brenda and William Jackson were married for 33 years at the time of her death.