Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!
When it comes to bristle batons, the majestic beauty of a proper NASCAR mustache is a sight to behold. Revered and feared, driver caterpillar culture is one of the bedrocks of the racing community, gifting fans a myriad of gnarly cookie dusters as timeless as the sport itself. From the novice rookie to the elite veteran, rocking a fly mouser is a rite of passage for all who enter NASCAR’s hallowed doors. In a league where everyone seeks just that little extra oomph of competitive advantage, the confidence from fly facial fur might provide that coveted edge to win. Here’s a look at some of the best in the biz.
“The Copper”: Jeff Gordon
“Pull over!” “It’s a cardigan, but thanks for asking!” While Jeff Gordon’s stiff upper lipper was definitely worthy of mixing it up with Harry and Loyd, judging by the legend’s whopping 93 wins, the three-time Daytona 500 winner clearly chose the correct career path. One has to assume sporting a spiffy 'stache in his early days helped build the confidence needed take the 90’s by storm with three championships (’95,’97,’98). The Rainbow Warrior never needed a badge to lay down the law on the track, but he’d look damn good in one!
“The Count”: Kyle Larson
Since his debut in 2012, Kyle Larson’s been ripping it up on the track, so why not test out the dashing muzzy of a debonair sword fighter like he did in 2014? Everyone digs a swashbuckling hero, and Larson has lived up to the hype. The NASCAR Cup Series champion recently earned the award for “Best Driver” at the annual ESPY Awards. For an in-depth look at the life of the star racer, catch Larson on USA Network’s “Race for the Championship,” premiering Sept. 1.
“The Fun Guy”: Tim Richmond
Beloved for his effervescent spirit, Tim Richmond’s signature mouth brow anchored his fun-loving personality. Throughout his ’86 campaign, the wild man won seven races, including the Southern 500. After tragically passing away in 1989 from HIV complications, he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2002 and named one of the “50 Greatest NASCAR Drivers of All Time”.
“The Good Time”: Kyle Petty
As inviting as the charismatic driver’s personality, the eight-time race winner’s caterpillar complimented his wild head of lettuce to mold the perfect blend of Kenny G meets Gallagher. Though son of the storied champion Richard Petty never quite lived up to the legacy of his legendary father, he's become a fixture in the racing community, currently working as a skilled NASCAR commentator for NBC Sports.
“The Playmaker”: Dale Jarrett
Though best known for cruising his way to the top of three Daytona 500 podiums (1993,1996 and 2000), Jarrett sported a traditional 'stache that, while it wasn’t anything unique at the time, definitely helped him command the respect of his peers. It’s the type of face fur that deserves a second look for its bristle strength and girth, let alone because of the champ behind it.
“The Power Bars”: Chase Elliott
The 2020 Cup Series Champion’s been on a roll this season. Boosted by his four wins, Chase Elliott sits atop the leaderboard. Though he’s known as a very easygoing guy off the track, he’s a relentless force to be reckoned with on the black top. Such ferocity naturally pairs with the epic bars he’s sporting here in 2021. Chase will be joining Larson as well as Kyle Busch, Ross Chastain, Daniel Suarez and others on USA Network's “Race For the Championship.”
“The Hunter”: Bubba Wallace
Carefully curated, we’d expect nothing less when it comes to the superstar’s facial hair. Since his debut in 2018 where he placed second to be Rookie of the Year, the Alabamian has been steadily surging through the ranks, and in 2021, he won his first career race at Talladega Superspeedway. The master track tactician picked the perfect match with his savvy stache.
“The Wild Man”: Ryan Blaney
Before morphing into the crafty, baby-faced assassin he is today, Ryan Blaney, the seven-time NASCAR Xfinity Series winner donned a wicked 'stache to go with his exceptional mane. His feral look seemed to mirror his intrepid style behind the wheel as well. Recently, the speedster in the No. 12 Ford signed a massive, long-term extension with Team Penske, and he currently sits at third in points in the NASCAR Cup Series standings.
“The Intimidator”: Dale Earnhardt
Big E’s aggressive style earned him the well-deserved moniker “The Intimidator,” but there’s no doubt fabled wheelman Dale Earnhardt derived his power from his boss muzzle rug. Part classic, part fearless, the seven-time Premier Series champion’s mustache is almost as legendary as the man.
“The King”: Richard Petty
The man. The myth. The legend. During his journey to become the most decorated driver atop racing's Mount Rushmore, Petty set the record for wins at 200 and earned a record-tying seven championships as well. He could do anything on the track, so he needed a look to match his dominant reputation. Though short-lived, his fearsome Fu Manchu was the bold, hold-no-prisoners look that fit the champion best.
While the golden era of 'stache captains may be over, it’s never too late for any of NASCAR’s brightest superstars to give the mug fuzz the good ole’ college try.
Who ranks on your list for the best mustaches in NASCAR?
Can't get enough NASCAR action? Tune into "Race for the Championship," which tracks the lives of the sports' most compelling stars on and off the track, premiering on USA Network Thursday, Sept. 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. And you can catch up on all things NASCAR on Peacock.
USA Insider is your source for all things USA, from behind-the-scenes access to breaking news, information about USA’s original shows, and much more. Sign up for USA Insider and be the first to get extras and updates on your favorite shows.