Bobby Hamilton Jr and girlfriend Stephanie Cantrell have married in a private and non-traditional ceremony in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

The surprise? The couple took their vows wearing old-fashioned western style costumes in the setting of a fancy western-style saloon.

Hamilton Jr, driver of the #25 Team Marines Ford Taurus for Team Rensi Motorsports, after just returning home from a two-day test session in Daytona, decided a vacation was in order before the gruelling 34-race NASCAR Busch Series schedule begins on 16 February. The couple chose to vacation in Gatlinburg - and then decided to make it more than a simple vacation, by turning it into their honeymoon.

Originally, the pair had considered waiting until after the 2002 season was over to wed, but after arriving at their destination, decided to go ahead and take the plunge.

"Stephanie and I just decided we didn't want to wait any longer," said Hamilton, "We love each other and have no doubts that we were meant to be together. She has been a big part of my life for many years. We were best friends that fell in love. It doesn't get much better than that, so why wait?"

"We found this little chapel decorated as fancy western saloon, where we could dress up in old-fashioned western-style outfits. We both thought it would be a hoot! Why follow convention when you can make it so much fun?"

Hamilton will make his debut in the #25 car in the EAS/GNC Live Well 300 in Daytona.

"This has been an incredible year so far," he said, "First, I get the opportunity to drive for a great team like Team Rensi Motorsports, that has so much potential, and now to marry Stephanie. Life doesn't get much better than that."