Five drivers to watch in today's Winston 500 (alphabetical order):
Compiled by KEVIN KELLY
© St. Petersburg Times, published October 15, 2000
CAR: No. 99 Ford
POINTS POSITION: 2nd
BEST FINISH AT TALLADEGA: 7th (1996 DieHard 500)
IN APRIL: 27th
WHY TO WATCH: Traditionally a bad qualifier who makes up ground fast. He must do that today in order to cut into Labonte's 252 point lead. Has six top-six finishes in past seven races.
CAR: No. 3 Chevrolet
POINTS POSITION: 3rd
BEST FINISH AT TALLADEGA: 1st, nine times (1983 and 1984 Talladega 500, 1990 Winston 500 and DieHard 500, 1991 Diehard 500, 1993 DieHard 500, 1994 Winston Select 500, 1999 DieHard 500 and Winston 500)
IN APRIL: 1st
WHY TO WATCH: Don't be fooled by starting position. Nine-time winner is the undisputed king of NASCAR's largest race track. Swept both races at Talladega in 1999.
CAR: No. 5 Chevrolet
POINTS POSITION: 19th
BEST FINISH AT TALLADEGA: 1st, twice (1989 DieHard 500, 1997 DieHard 500)
IN APRIL: 7th
WHY TO WATCH: A two-time winner at Talladega, he has two top-five and five top-10 finishes this season. In past nine races at Talladega, he has a top-seven finish six times.
CAR: No. 18 Pontiac
POINTS POSITION: 1st
BEST FINISH AT TALLADEGA: 1st (1998 DieHard 500)
IN APRIL: 21st
WHY TO WATCH: Winston Cup points leader can do no wrong (14 top-10s, three wins in last 18 races). Another good finish would all but assure him a first championship.
CAR: No. 71 Chevrolet
POINTS POSITION: 47th
BEST FINISH AT TALLADEGA: 1st (1976 Talladega 500)
IN APRIL: 38th
WHY TO WATCH: Looking for an underdog? Here he is. No matter where Marcis finishes, qualifying ninth is a big boost to this nine-member, low-budget team.
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