The Story Behind the ‘Stache: Ernie Irvan

Published On July 16, 2013 » 1506 Views» By Godwin Kelly » Blogs, Brickyard 400, Cup Series

The following is one of four posts highlighting the top four contenders in our #SuperStache ‘Stache-Off. Be sure to visit the Super Stache website daily and vote for your favorite NASCAR ‘staches. A winner will be crowned during the 2013 Super Weekend.

Here are two little known factoids about “Swervin’ Irvan.” First, he was a part-time protege of Mustache Master Dale Earnhardt and – warning, this is disturbing information for pure, upper-lip hipsters — for a time he broke the ranks of NASCAR’s revered ‘Stache Gang when he was driving the No. 28 Robert Yates Ford. For a brief period, Irvan donned a goatee. Gads!

But don’t hold that against Irvan. He went through a “phase,” and fortunately the goatee was short-lived. Irvan, from Modesto, Calif., showed up on the East Coast racing scene fully ‘stached and ready to rumble in NASCAR asphalt fights.

Ernie Irvan proudly displays his ‘stache.

While most of the drivers of his era were clean-shaven and polished, Irvan stood tall behind his thick, but well-cropped, strip of facial hair. Irvan is no giant — maybe 5-foot-8 in boots — but he looked like the guy you would never mess with in a bar fight.

Yes, the ‘stache turned the mild-mannered Californian — he raises horses and rides a bicycle for exercise — into a menacing, hairy-beast on the racetrack. His mustache persona was overwhelming. At one point, while driving the Morgan-McClure Motorsports No. 4 Chevrolet, his entire crew grew mustaches. It was the ultimate symbol of team unity for a guy not much taller than Yosemite Sam, but with the inner power of a tumbling boulder.

Like his idol, Earnhardt, Irvan displayed the ‘stache proudly like when America flies the flag on the Fourth of July; only he did it on a daily basis. Irvan’s ‘stache was coarse, like the rough side of a dish sponge; so rough he could have scraped the dirt off a potato with that Brillo whisker band. Irvan’s ‘stache was a force to be reckoned with, a force of nature.


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Elsie C. Miller
Elsie C. Miller

I have always loved th4e "stache" on Ernie -- my favorite driver