On the racetrack, NASCAR driver Kurt Busch makes split-second decisions. But to meet his wife, he took more time. "My friend said, 'I've got this girl you gotta meet,' and I kept saying no," he says. "I wanted to work on my career—no women. But I finally gave in."

Good thing. "It was love at first sight," says Busch, 28, who married former banker Eva Bryan, 29, on July 27—exactly three years after their first date. More than 200 guests watched as Bryan, wearing a corseted gown by Pnina Tornai, stepped out of a white horse-drawn carriage at the Point Farm mansion on Virginia's Eastern Shore. "It was so romantic," says Busch. The 20-minute ceremony was held on the porch of the mansion after endangered beetles found at the couple's chosen beach location forced a last-minute venue change. But guests (including Busch's brother Kyle and fellow driver Helio Castroneves) still enjoyed the beach, dancing until 2 a.m. under tents set up along the shore. "This was a whole different kind of adrenaline rush," says the 2004 NEXTEL Cup champ, who left for an all-too-brief honeymoon in the Bahamas before he had to hit the track again on Aug. 6. Fortunately, he adds, "marriage is one race that doesn't end."