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It's a beautiful fall afternoon at Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina. The pit gates are about to open for the evening's test and tune session and first in line is a yellow and green Ford Taurus with a big number 97 on it's side. Could it be? Did Chad Little make a left instead of a right on his way to the AC Delco 400?

Nope, the driver of the John Deere-sponsored Winston Cup Stock Car was at the right track in the right car. Instead of the mile oval across the street, Little was about to do his racing a quarter-mile at a time. Why? To prove that in the wide world of motorsports, drag racing and Winston Cup are the most closely related. Unlike other forms of motorsports, there's more cross-over between fans of NASCAR and drag racing. In America, they are the two most popular motorsports. Both feature American drivers in American cars. You're as likely to see a Dale Earnhardt T-Shirt at Englishtown as you would a John Force shirt at Daytona.

Then there are all the owners, drivers and engine builders who've raced both series. Rick Hendrick, whose teams have won four consecutive NASCAR Winston Cup championships, started out in drag racing. So did Jack Rousch, who won NHRA and IHRA Pro Stock titles in the mid '70s with driver Wayne Gapp. Even NASCAR driver John Andretti, who wheels Richard Petty's No. 43 Dodge, raced a Top Fuel dragster in the early '90s. Famed engine builder/team owner Robert Yates is also a former drag racer.


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