Earnhardt Ganassi Racing owner/managing partner Chip Ganassi is fed up with media criticism of Teresa Earnhardt, co-owner of the team and widow of seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt Sr.

Just because Teresa Earnhardt prefers not to come to the race-track, she shouldn't be pilloried in the press as an absentee owner, Ganassi said Friday to a small gathering of reporters outside his motor home.

"She could have walked away from the sport in 2001 (after Dale Earnhardt died in a crash in the Daytona 500), and nobody would have said a word," Ganassi said. "Here she commits herself to the business and commits herself to the industry, and because she's not what you want her to be, she's not good, or she's no good, or this or that.

"Whether she wants to be at the racetrack or not isn't a measuring of her interest in the sport. Because she doesn't walk up and down the pit lane with a hat on like Jack Roush, she can't be any good - that's just ridiculous.

"She's committed to the sport, and she's my partner, so lay off her. OK?"

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News

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