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From Mullets To Mustaches: The Greatest NASCAR Hairstyles Of All Time
Austin Dillon proves that NASCAR has a lot of ideas when it comes to hair in the sport.
Austin Dillon, who is poised to give NASCAR fans an inside look at his lifestyle by way of the upcoming USA Network reality series, “Austin Dillon’s Life In The Fast Lane,” has been a career racer for most of his life. As a result, he’s not been immune to many of the traditions and fads that come with professional racing — including sporting some pretty out-there hairstyles.
Over the years, Dillon has gone business in the front and party in the back with a mullet, buzzed his hair down in all the right places (as well as all the wrong places), and even rocked a traditional well-kempt look. Regardless, he’s looked good doing it every time.
However, he’s not the only NASCAR racer to experiment with the odd hairstyle here and there. As fans prepare to get an inside look at his lifestyle and career, some may be curious as to how his epic hairstyles stack up against some of his colleagues in racing.
Sure, Erik Jones is a winning NASCAR driver with many accolades under his belt, such as winning the Busch Clash at Daytona International Speedway. However, for many, he is simply the young buck who came onto the scene a few years ago sporting one of the most luscious mullets the sport has ever seen.
In 2017, he shocked fans everywhere when he tweeted that he “retired” the mullet and shared a before and after image of his trip to the barber. Fortunately, he immediately got to work growing it back and continued to score wins both for his driving career and team mullet!
One of the coolest customers in NASCAR also sports one of the coolest hairstyles. During his time as a racer, Petty always had a thick mane of hair that he would either collect in a ponytail or simply let flow in the breeze on the speedway.
Over the years, the racer and guitarist has mellowed out his look a bit, opting to sport a more conservative ponytail and clean-shaven goatee rather than his old mustache.
However, when it comes to ponytails in the industry, he still sets the gold standard for NASCAR drivers everywhere.
Like Petty, Blaney has been to Victory Lane several times while sporting some pretty wild hairstyles. He’s had the thick mane and mustache of Petty as well as some of Jones’ mullet action. However, he’s also not afraid to play around with his facial hair, sporting various beards and goatees.
Unfortunately, in 2018 he decided to clean his look up in an effort to join some of his other NASCAR cohorts in looking more professional on the track and in interviews. Unlike some of his fans, he had no problem saying goodbye to his signature look.
“It’s just hair,” he told "NBC Sports" at the time. “It’s facial hair. It’s dead skin that grows out of your head. It’s nothing anything too major. I actually laugh at fans that give me a hard time whether I’m going to cut it or not. It’s just hair. There’s a lot more important things out there, but it’s funny to see the reactions. You can cut anything off that you want and it’s not going to change (me). Personality-wise I’m going to be the same person but just look a little different.
“It will be interesting not having hair touching my neck all the time," he continued. "It will be a lot less work. I don’t know if you know how much work it takes to have long hair. I actually don’t really like it. It’s almost gotten too much for me. So it will look different. But I think I’ll stay the same. I’ll still be Ryan.”
This was just a temporary hairstyle, but it was by far one of the most memorable. In 2010, professional racer Scott Speed asked his Twitter followers if he should dye his hair black and blue ahead of an upcoming race. The response was overwhelming and he proved he’s a man of his word.
The typically blonde driver showed up to his next race with jet-black hair accented with dark blue chunks. Speaking to SB Nation, he explained that the idea came as a result of sheer boredom with his look.
"It was just one of those things where I was sort of bored looking in the mirror," he said. "I had always done different stuff with my hair. I had a mohawk one time, I bleached it all platinum white one time. But ... since I got married, honestly, I sort of lost the drive to fix myself."
He also joked that his wife hated it, which is why he needed the Twitter poll to prove it was what the people wanted.
He may be one of the biggest names in NASCAR history, with four NASCAR Cup Series championships under his belt, but to many, he’s also the guy who had one of the most beloved mustaches in the industry.
It wasn’t the thickest, it wasn’t even the most complete, but it — along with an impressive mullet — stands out in NASCAR in a way that went beyond his race record. Eventually, he shaved the soup-catcher off but continues to acknowledge how much people liked it. In fact, in 2012 he jokingly hinted that he would bring the 'stache back. However, it’s no longer part of his signature look, making it a relic of the past that he and all of his followers can look back at fondly.