Ashley Judd: New belle of NASCAR ball

February 17, 2008 8:53:33 AM PST
NASCAR has a sizzlin' new topic racing through the garage.

It has nothing to do with fightin', cheatin' or Dale Jr.

What will actress Ashley Judd wear to the Daytona 500 on Sunday?

Judd, the wife of reigning IndyCar Series champion and rookie NASCAR driver Dario Franchitti, was hard to miss last week at Daytona International Speedway in a low-cut, black dress adorned with colorful tulips, high heels, black sunglasses and a large, floppy black hat.

It was a drastic departure from "NASCAR style" - a term some would call an oxymoron.

Then again, it was considerably less revealing than Judd's rain-soaked number at Franchitti's Indianapolis 500 victory last year.

"It's not a big deal," NASCAR said Saturday. "We're confident there won't be an issue."

For Franchitti's car owner, Chip Ganassi, the subject of Judd's wardrobe is considered one of the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.

"Here's the thing: I'm in the racing business," Ganassi said. "Dario Franchitti drives our car. He's married to Ashley Judd. I'm not a Hollywood agent. I treat his wife like I do all the other wives and girlfriends. ... It's a non-issue with me."

What if Ashley wore a fire suit and Franchitti, who is Scottish, wore a fireproof kilt?

"That's a good idea, yeah," Ganassi said.