Are We Watching NASCAR or Bravo?

Kelly CrandallSenior Writer IOctober 29, 2008

On many occasions it appears that the red carpet was rolled out along pit road instead of race cars. Instead of the drivers being accompanied by their wife or girlfriend, they stroll down pit road with a Barbie on their arm.

And that Barbie, standing next to a dirty, fiery, 4,300 pound stock car, has perfect hair, clothes, and make-up. It’s an oxymoron.

If there’s a dress code in the garage or in NASCAR it would most likely consist of jeans, t-shirts, jackets, sweatshirts, sneakers, and firesuits.

What you don’t think about are designer clothes and heals. However, it seems that we better get used to it because there's a silent war going on between the real women of pit road and the "Plastics."

Now for those of you who have never seen the movie Mean Girls, the "Plastics" are the women who always look good. They have their hair and make-up done and it's done right and there's never a hair out of place.

Let the battle begin.

The first group are the racer women, the ones you can’t tell from their husbands. Take, for instance, Delana Harvick. Every weekend she wears a firesuit that matches her husband's and is seen on the pit box taking notes and lap times.

She is also deeply involved in the Nationwide Series operation as co-owner and with the Craftsman Truck Series. Last season with driver Ron Hornaday, Kevin Harvick, Incorporated won the Truck Series Championship.

Delana is not the only one who isn’t trying to turn heads. Katie Kenseth is regularly seen in jeans and a t-shirt, helping atop the pit box. There's also a picture of her sitting with her shoes off and using a pen with a big flower on top.

She knows how to stay in the background as her husband takes care of business.

But if you need a better picture than the two mentioned already, look no further than the reigning Daytona 500 couple of Ryan and Krissie Newman.

When her husband won the Super Bowl of auto racing, Krissie was shown wearing an over-sized sweatshirt and jeans. Her hair was in a loose ponytail with make-up running down her face, teary-eyed and overjoyed with her husband's latest and greatest accomplishment.

Krissie is very much a jeans and tee shirt kind of girl. That is what you think of when it comes to racing, not fashion shows or runways. The next couple of women didn’t get that memo.

There’s nothing wrong with looking good, however pit road is not the fall fashion show and we’re not tuning in to see the latest fashion trend or Project Runway.

It wouldn’t be doubtful if Chandra Johnson didn’t own a pair of jeans or sneakers. Or if Mrs. Jeff Gordon, Ingrid Vandebosch, didn't know what a t-shirt was.

Then again, these two are former models and have begun to rub off on their husbands. Whoever is doing Jimmie Johnson's hair needs to be fired.

His wife, Chandra, can be seen walking—or should I say strutting—down pit road with the latest fashion trend on and heals. She then sits perfectly atop the pit box as if posing and waits her turn to be on TV.

It makes it perfect when Johnson wins because she takes a good picture when she’s already made up.

Chandra’s job is to sit atop the box and look pretty; you don’t see her taking notes or contributing. Then again, it doesn’t seem that her husband needs any help.

In fact, Chandra never shows any emotion, not even when her husband is in a wreck.

But no outfit caused more emotion than Ashley Judd in February at the Daytona International Speedway.

Judd accompanied her husband, Dario Franchitti, down pit road during qualifying for the Daytona 500. She was wearing a low cut dress and heels.

Websites and blogs went into a frenzy and NASCAR said that they would make sure the team knew the dress code.

"Martin always tells me, 'Hey, you're not going to a fashion show,' but really it's exactly that: a fashion show on pit road," says the girlfriend of Martin Truex, Jr.

Take your fashion show somewhere else.

We want racing and people who look like us, making it easier for us to identify with them and feel that they are one of us. We like cars, speed, burning rubber, and the smell of gasoline.

"I know some people really like to dress up because of the cameras and that's fine," Krissie Newman said. "I used to dress up...white cargo pants and nice shoes, but I just ended up getting water spots and grease stains on them. You still have to remember you're at a racetrack. You can look professional and stylish and still be comfortable."

You would think that they would want to be comfortable, like Harvick, Kenseth, and Newman, when sitting for a long period of time.

And pit road is a place for business and for racing, not for wives and girlfriends to show themselves off. Then again, I guess they want their 15 minutes of fame and NASCAR wants ratings.