1999 Ford NASCAR
This 1999 Ford Taurus NASCAR is painted in a Winston Cup Series livery that was seen on a promotional vehicle for later seasons of the Winston Cup Championship. However, in 1999 and 2000, under No. 66 and the Big K; Kmart sponsorship, the car was raced by Darrell Waltrip throughout his final seasons of the Winston Cup Series.
About NASCAR and the Winston Cup Series
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is an American automotive racing organization founded in 1948 by Bill France Sr. The organization remains family owned, and France’s grandson Brian France has been CEO of NASCAR since 2003. Although its headquarters are located in Daytona Beach, Florida, NASCAR runs more than 1,500 races at over 100 tracks in 39 U.S. states as well as in Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Japan. Using mostly oval-shaped tracks, NASCAR is the biggest racing league in the United States.
From 1971 to 2003, the Winston Cup Series was the premier NASCAR event. The R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company provided sponsorship as well as the series’ name. The first television-broadcasted stock car race was the Daytona 500 in 1979. In 1985, NASCAR introduced a rewards program, the Winston Million, which gave $1 million to any driver who could win three of the four most-prestigious races in a single season. Only Bill Elliott and Jeff Gordon ever won—in 1985 and 1997, respectively. However, in the two closest finishes to the Winston Million since its debut, Darrell Waltrip and Dale Jarrett came close in 1989 and 1996, respectively.
In the 1990s, the Winston Cup Series saw a large surge in popularity. NASCAR became a huge hit in the United States, and prize money for big races such as the Brickyard 400 and the Daytona 500 nearly tripled
About This NASCAR
The car before you features the Winston Cup livery that appeared on a promotional vehicle during the 2001 season. The trophy decals on the rear are from Dale Jarett’s championship trophy runs. This car was owned by Travis Carter of Haas-Carter Motorsports during the 1999 and 2000 NASCAR seasons and was raced by Darrell Waltrip during his final seasons before his November 2000 retirement at the NAPA 500.
The Ford Taurus NASCAR body currently contains a ZZ4 350 CID engine, four-speed Rock Crusher transmission, 11-inch centerforce clutch, Schoenfeld headers, Brembo brakes, racing seat, safety harness, dry sump tank, and fire suppression system. Its top speed is over 200 mph.
About Darrell Waltrip
Darrell Waltrip is a Kentucky-born author, columnist, motorsport analyst, television broadcaster, and former racing driver. A three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, he won the event in 1981, 1982, and 1985. He is also a three-time runner-up for 1979, 1983, and 1986. Darrell was the first NASCAR driver to be awarded more than $10 million in race winnings; during his entire career, he posted nearly $20 million.
For many years, Waltrip was a fan favorite. He won “American Driver of the Year” and “NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver” on five separate occasions. In 2012, Waltrip was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame; he has also earned his place in several other motorsport halls of fame. He currently works as a color analyst for Fox Sports and as a writer.
According to Sports Illustrated, “Darrell famously said, ‘If you don’t cheat, you look like an idiot.’ His team was infamous for filling frame rails in his car with BBs to make racing weight and later dropping them out through a trap door. The jig was up when the buckshot came out in the pit lane, spraying the crew members of other teams and NASCAR officials. Darrell also had his qualifying time for the 1976 Daytona 500—one of the three fastest—tossed when his car was found to be rigged with nitrous oxide to boost its horsepower. A. J. Foyt’s time was tossed for the same reason.”
Before the 1999 NASCAR season, Waltrip considered retirement. Instead, he landed back in the series, racing under a new team with Haas-Carter Motorsports and the Big K No. 66 Kmart car, which sits before you. He announced his retirement in 2000 so that he could complete a farewell tour. He failed to qualify seven times and finished 36th overall. On November 19, 2000, he finished his final race: the NAPA 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway (Jayski).
With one of the most successful careers in racing history, Waltrip left his mark on NASCAR forever. The many cars that he drove over the years are thrilling for any NASCAR enthusiast or Waltrip fan. The Midwest Dream Car Collection is excited to present a car of such legendary stature and historical appeal.
“Notorious NASCAR Cheating Episodes.” Sports Illustrated, 12 Sept. 2013, www.si.com/racing/photos/2013/09/12/nascar-cheating.
Jayski LLC. “Past #66 Team News.” Jayski’s Silly Season Site, 22 Jan. 2002, www.jayski.com/teams/past/66past.htm.