Skip to Content

Martha Earnhardt Net Worth | Biography

Martha Earnhardt Net Worth – $1 million

What was Martha Earnhardt’s net worth at the time of her death?


Martha Earnhardt is a woman who needs no introduction for millions of NASCAR fans around the world.

For the rest of us, though, this diminutive and graceful North Carolina woman may seem just like every other Southern grandma.

Beneath a façade of what NASCAR’s executives called “grace, compassion, and welcoming” lay a woman who had spawned a dynasty of racing legends and created some of the most iconic track stars in the industry.

She’d also married one of those icons at the beginning of it all.

So, when the mainstream media announced that Martha Earnhardt had passed away at the grand old age of 91, millions of racing fans mourned the end of an era.

As NASCAR CEO and Vice President Jim France said:

“To her grandchildren, she was Mamaw. To NASCAR fans, she was a treasure.”

Here’s what we know about the queen bee of the Earnhardt racing family, and the legacy she has left for the world.

The Origin Story

Dale Earnhardt Sr. kisses his mother, Martha Earnhardt – @Getty

Martha King Coleman was born on July 15, 1930, in Kannapolis, Cabarrus County, North Carolina.

She is the daughter of the late William Luther Coleman and Cora Belle Coleman.

Martha was born and raised in Kannapolis, and years later—long after her husband, children, and grandchildren had found fame on the track and built a multi-million dollar empire—she would still refuse to leave her little hometown.

Martha married Ralph Earnhardt in 1947, and the couple went on to have five children together—Cathy and Kaye, their daughters, and sons Danny, Randy, and Dale (more on him in a minute). 

Martha, the mother of national NASCAR icon and 7-time champion Dale, is also the grandmother—or Mamaw, as she has always been known—of Kerry Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Taylor Earnhardt Putnam, and Kelley Earnhardt Miller.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. with wife and children – @Getty

As if that wasn’t enough famous personalities for one family, Martha is also the great-grandmother of Jeffrey J Earnhardt and speedway sensation Bobby Dale.

A Match Made in Racing Heaven

Ralph was of German descent, and was the son of John Henderson Earnhardt and his second wife, Effie Mae Furr.

Two years after Martha and Ralph tied the knot, Ralph—a former cotton mill worker and hobby racecar driver—began racing for profit.

By 1953, it was his full-time job.

In 1955, Ralph earned second place at the NASCAR Sportsman Championship. The following year, he took the top spot.

Over the length of his career, Ralph Earnhardt’s name appeared on the 50 Greatest NASCAR Drivers of all time list.

He has also been honored in multiple Halls of Fame, including those of the National Motorsports Press Ass’n (NMPA), the International Motorsports, the Oceanside Rotary Club of Daytona Beach Stock Car Racing, and the National Dirt Late Model.

In 1973, at just 45 years of age, Ralph Earnhardt died of a heart attack while fixing a carburetor in he and Martha’s kitchen.

The Queen of Racetrack Royalty

When Dale Earnhardt followed in his father’s footsteps to become a NASCAR driver—one of only three drivers who would eventually take out seven NASCAR cup championships—Martha was there to cheer her son on.

Dale Earnhardt – @Getty

In several interviews over the decades, family members have shared that Martha was a calming influence on her son—and an antidote to his intimidating and explosive on-track persona.

Martha’s grandson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. even went as far as to saying his Mamaw “mellowed” Dale.

In a 2011 interview for the Orlando Sentinel, Martha shared that her son often tried to convince her to move to a bigger, fancier house than the one she and Ralph had raised their family in.

Stubborn in her own graceful way, Martha refused, saying she preferred the little house she loved in the Car Hill community.

There were some new things Martha Earnhardt was willing to try, though.

She once went down to the Hickory Speedway with her husband for what she described as a powder puff women’s race.

It wasn’t the stellar performance her husband was putting out in those days—she crashed.

“I just wasn’t meant to be a [racecar] driver.”

Family First

Martha continued to work for most of her life, including a stint waitressing and working as a store clerk the year Dale won the Daytona 500.

When asked to comment on that time, Martha’s mind immediately went to her family.

“We were real fortunate that year,” said the matriarch, explaining that her entire family was home for Christmas in 1998.

34 of her nearest and dearest were crowded into the house—Martha and Ralph’s five kids, 11 grandkids, six great-grandkids, and a few others. When pressed on advice for parents, she said, “Teach them morals and always be there for them.”

Martha often spoke about how good her kids were, explaining that they—especially Dale, when he wasn’t on the road—would call in for a slice of ‘secret cake’ or a hug.

“He was a good son,” she said. “He did a lot. I have four other children who did, too.”

Following Dale’s untimely passing in 2001, at only 49 years old, Martha would often meet visitors at his statue in downtown Kannapolis to talk about his legacy and show them around.

Her grandson, Kelley, joked in a USA Today interview that his grandmother was constantly letting fans into her home to talk about Dale and share stories about life in the famous Earnhardt family.

Kelley and another of Martha’s grandchildren, Dale Earnhardt Jr., announced their Mamaw’s passing in 2021—she died on Christmas Day that year, at home, surrounded by the people she loved.

READ MORE: Myrla Feria Net Worth

Martha Earnhardt – Net Worth

So, how much was Martha Earnhardt worth?

Martha worked as a waitress and as a clerk at a children’s store. She lived most of her life in her home in Kannapolis.

She is the co-author of the cookbook – “Pit Stop in a Southern Kitchen.”

Her husband, Ralph Earnhardt, was a stock car racer and won the NASCAR Sportsman Championship in 1956.

Therefore, at the time of her death, Martha Earnhardt had an estimated net worth of $1 million.

READ THIS NEXT: Who is Jeff Lerner’s wife?