Says Roush Racing teammate Jeff Burton, "Matt Kenseth will come in and bring a youthful energy, along with a lack of experience. That's OK for a smart guy, and he's a smart guy. Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will bring a mix to it. I think the rookie battle next year between Matt and Junior will be really neat." 1999 Final Busch Standings: - Dale Earnhardt Jr.: 1st- Matt Kenseth: 3rd
A.J. FoytOK, so he's a team owner and not a driver, but Foyt's full-time participation in NASCAR Winston Cup racing is another indication of the popularity of the series. Foyt is the first four-time winner of the Indianapolis 500 and continues as a team owner in the Pep Boys Indy Racing League. Foyt enjoyed tremendous success in a limited NASCAR Winston Cup driving career in which he won seven races, including the '72 Daytona 500, driving for the Wood Brothers. Now, as a full-time team owner in NASCAR Winston Cup racing, Foyt has his team preparing Pontiacs driven by rookie driver Mike Bliss, a former USAC open-wheel racer who has spent the past four seasons in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
It's likely this colorful team owner will overshadow Bliss. "As long as A.J. doesn't want to fight me, we're OK," Jeff Burton says. "A.J. Foyt is a name synonymous with American motorsports. His involvement will hopefully help us. He hasn't been in this side of racing in a long, long time, and it will be interesting to see how he adapts."
Darrell WaltripThere are many who think "Ol' DW" can still drive ... especially Darrell Waltrip. One of the most popular Winston Cup drivers of all time is calling the year 2000 his last.
Waltrip has won the series title three times: in 1981, 1982 and 1985. Waltrip stands one victory away from sole possession of third place in all-time NASCAR Winston Cup wins with 84. He is seventh in all-time superspeedway victories with 37 and fourth in all-time Winston Cup poles with 59.
Waltrip will be going out in style with the much-hyped "Victory Tour 2000." Driving the #66 Route 66/Big Kmart Ford Taurus, the NASCAR legend vows to score one more victory before he hangs 'em up. He's definitely one more to watch in 2000.
Choose Your Sheet MetalChevrolet Monte CarloThe Monte Carlo has maintained its stock look by keeping the race-car profile much the same as its production version. Other distinctive shapes have been incorporated to keep the aura of a stock Chevrolet in the race car.
Viewed from the front, the grille shape and headlight decals proclaim it's a Monte Carlo. The hood carries the stock-type crisp accent lines that run from the headlights to the windshield. Of course, to make sure you know it's a Chevy, the famous Bow Tie logo is prominent in the center of the nosepiece.
Ford TaurusThe Taurus is the biggest hybrid among the three, because the street production model of Taurus comes in a high-roof four-door version only. The stock profile is substantially altered in the race version, but other characteristics are maintained to imply a stock look.
Among the lines on the car, hinting at a stock appearance is the unique undulating hood shape. When you add in the grille, which has the oval shape like its street cousin, the Ford look comes through. Topping it off are the Taurus eye headlight decals and the corporate logo. When the race car is viewed from this angle, the look is unmistakably Ford Taurus.