NASCAR & Auto Racing

'Step-Mom' billboards axed after Kelley Earnhardt Elledge objects

Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage has agreed to change billboards featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr. after the original message drew objections from Kelley Earnhardt Elledge, Earnhardt Jr.’s sister and business manager.

Originally, the billboard read “Reason #88: Step-Mom” with Texas Motor Speedway, the NASCAR logo and the April 3-6 dates for the Samsung 500 weekend.

Earnhardt Jr. left Dale Earnhardt Inc., which is led by his stepmother, Teresa Earnhardt, following the 2007 season. He will drive the No. 88 Chevrolets for Hendrick Motorsports this year.

NASCAR Scene magazine said Elledge called the billboard “completely inappropriate” earlier this week.

The new wording, which will take about a week to changet, will say “Reason #88: New Car Smell.”

The billboard is one of four being used to promote the upcoming race. Tony Stewart’s reads “Reason #20: Road Rage!” Jeff Gordon’s says “Reason #24: 81 Cup Wins. Zip at Texas!”

And Jimmie Johnson’s says: “Reason #48: Twice as Good as 24!”

Gossage told that the campaign has “done what it was supposed to do, causing people to talk about it and news folks doing stories about them. It's taken a life of its own, and that's what you want out of an advertising campaign.”