CMT’s new show Racing Wives is slowly taking the airwaves by storms, and it’s drawing new viewers into NASCAR. Before now, little has been known about the public lives of the famous stock car drivers, but Racing Wives is changing that. The show casts race car driver Amber Balcaen, Ashley Busch, Samantha Busch, Whitney Dillon, and Mariel Swan.
For Amber Balcaen, this is a great way to get some much-needed attention and show off her skills as a race car driver.
What is Racing Wives All About?
Racing Wives is a show on CMT that portrays some of the more famous drivers’ wives and what their day to day lives are like. While there are some images of the racers hitting the track, the main focus is on the women and what their careers are like when they aren’t sitting in the stands supporting their husbands.
According to Racing News, this is actually the second attempt to create a show about the wives of the drivers. In 2010, the Discovery network began a project called ‘NASCAR Wives.’ If you’ve never heard of it, there’s a good reason. While the first season was filmed, the Discovery network felt like there wasn’t enough drama, so the producers canned the show before it could make it to the network.
Racing Wives is proving that the idea was not without its merits, however. According to the Cinemaholic, “After its release, ‘Racing Wives’ received mixed reviews from fans and critics. While some loved it, others felt it didn’t offer anything new.” The Cinemaholic also added, “The show had a decent first season in terms of the ratings.”
Who is Amber Balcaen?
Contrary to the name of the show, Amber Balcaen is not a racing wife. Unlike the other women on the show, she’s a race car driver herself. This is what separates her from the other Racing Wives, even though her good friend Samantha Busch supports her on and off the track.
Is it hard being a woman in a male-dominated sport?
While Danica Patrick has opened the door for more female drivers to hit the tracks, it’s still not an easy transition for most women. According to Race and Track, one of the biggest pitfalls for women trying to break into racing is finding sponsors to support them.
This is part of what Balcaen faces in Racing Wives. Many of her scenes portray her struggle to find sponsors to support her racing career.
When Balcaen was asked about how she is treated as a woman in the racing world, she said that it has its pros and cons. “We’re definitely put under a microscope and there are pros and cons to that. One of the pros is that we’re more marketable. Me specifically, I’m very personable, relatable but also different because I’m a Canadian and I’m a female so that adds to my marketability. On the cons side, the guys drive you harder and people are more critical about where you finish. They’re critical about the way I dress, the way I speak and the people I hang out with in ways that they aren’t critical of male drivers.”
Despite this, Balcaen continues to go for her dreams, and is an inspiration for young girls who hope to follow in her footsteps.
How did Balcaen get her start?
Balcaen is actually a third generation race car driver. On her web page, Balcaen states, “I grew up in a racing family, so I was at the track at a very young age. I begged my Dad to let me race and finally at 10 years old he allowed me to race go karts.” Since then, Balcaen has raced for NASCAR and is trying to help other women break into the sport.
What does she do when she’s off the track?
When she’s not behind the wheel, Balcaen focuses on running her company Amber Balcaen Racing. She is also a motivational speaker and a social media influencer. Balcaen hopes to show that women belong in the world of racing. She’s obviously trying to build her presence in the television world through Racing Wives. While Racing News reports the show has not officially been renewed for a second season, chances are we’ll see more of Balcaen on the track again.