NASCAR wives, girlfriends, or significant others come in all shapes and sizes. Some are beautiful models, like Jeff Gordon's wife Ingrid Vandebosch or Jimmie Johnson's wife Chandra, while others are more "ordinary," looking more like the girl next door.
Some NASCAR drivers and wives have known each other for quite some time, like Jeff Burton and his wife Kim, who met as high school sweethearts and have been together ever since. Other drivers are newlyweds, like Carl Edwards and his new wife Kate, who are just finding their way together as a couple.
Whether meeting at a friend's wedding, like Matt and Katie Kenseth, or on a blind date like Krissie and Ryan Newman, as well as Eva and Kurt Busch, NASCAR couples have found each other in various ways and through many different venues.
Several NASCAR wives are professionals in their own rights, like A.J. Allmendinger's wife Lynne, a chiropractor by training. Others like DeLana Harvick, Kevin's wife, are in the racing business themselves, out on the NASCAR circuit, both on and off the track.
Some NASCAR wives are somewhat less visible, staying home and attending to children and the myriad of activities that must occur while their driver spouse is on the road.
But NASCAR wives and girlfriends have one thing in common. They are members of the sisterhood of the traveling worriers.
They worry every time their man takes to the track. They worry about things going wrong and particularly, they worry about the "big one" or the big wreck, especially at restrictor plate tracks like Daytona and Talladega.
There was no greater example of the sisterhood of worrying than in Nascar's Nationwide race this weekend at Talladega.
After a tap in the rear from his teammate and race winner David Ragan, Matt Kenseth went on a wild ride, flipping over several times and catching fire.
As the wreck was occurring, the sisterhood of the traveling worriers went into immediate action. Ryan Newman's wife Krissie grabbed Katie Kenseth's arm as they went off quickly toward the care center where they hoped Matt would end up shortly.
The worry on both of their faces was apparent and one could almost feel their fear and apprehension. Drivers' wives and families know when a wreck is a bad one and this was one of those bad ones by the looks on both of their faces.
Thankfully, after Kenseth's car came to rest on its wheels, Matt was able to drop the netting quickly and jump out of the car. He walked to the waiting ambulance under his own power, glimpsing back briefly to take a look at the mangled car.
There must have been a very happy reunion between Matt and wife Katie after he was checked out in the infield care center. And no doubt Krissie Newman was also there supporting her "sister" until she knew that all was well.
As the Talladega Cup race runs today, the sisterhood will again be in place. Every Cup driver spouse or girlfriend will be holding their collective breaths, hoping that no one will be injured in any way, especially when there is a "big one."
Regardless of the competition of their spouses on the track, the sisterhood of the traveling worriers will continue their vigil today and throughout the race season.
This will be their common bond and, whatever happens, the sisterhood will be there for one another—always.
Photo Credit: JEFF ROBINSON / NASCAR SCENE