Earnhardt: the name and the legend are synonymous. It's probably the most recognized and respected name in all of stock car racing. While the history associated with this name runs deep, so does the association with Chevrolet. And since history already tells us what an Earnhardt drives on the track, chances are there are a couple more Bow Ties in the garage as daily drivers.
For Dale Earnhardt Jr., picking the right driver for the day is difficult, since his stable of choices includes such performance machines as an Impala SS, a Camaro SS, and even a Corvette. But one of his favorite - and more practical rides - is his '99 Chevy Silverado 4x4 that's outfitted for real-world play.
With the hectic schedule he keeps, it's no wonder he enlisted the help of Tarheel 4x4 to help him build the Chevy. First up was the proper stance with a Rancho lift kit, complete with RS 9000 shocks. Rolling stock for the 4x4 was swapped out to 285/75R16 Durango Radial T/As mounted on 8-1/2-inch American Racing wheels.
Next up was the addition of a huge Warn winch on the front end, complete with a chromed brushguard and a pair of KC HiLiTES off-road lamps. With the added step in height, a pair of chrome Smittybilt nerf bars was added to both sides of the truck. For the true, rugged off-road look, a Smittybilt double-tube sport bar was added to the bed, topped with another pair of KC lights
The truck's 5.3L powerplant gets a power boost from the addition of a dual Flowmaster exhaust system and a K&N replacement filter element in the airbox. Otherwise, the drivetrain remains reliable stock with the exception of a chrome differential cover on the rear axle.
While the appearance of the interior remains basically stock, Little E's desire for serious sounds sent the truck to Freeman's Car Stereo for a show-quality sound system. An Alpine head unit plays through a series of show-quality Punch amplifiers in a custom enclosure under the rear seat, which also houses four JBL 10-inch subwoofers. A combination of six midrange and six tweeters are located throughout the truck in custom color-key door panels dressed in brushed aluminum trim. The control center is a dash-mounted equalizer that sits just elow the head unit in the dash.
Similar to his race cars, the truck is built for function, not flash, but it also has a few subtle touches of its own, such as the removal the Chevrolet emblems, which were replaced with airbrushed Budweiser logos, the sponsor on his Number 8 Winston Cup car. And with the amount of mud and dirt on the truck when we showed up to photograph it, we can honestly say this is one of Dale Jr.'s more favorite rides.
Greg Biffle's Super Duty 4x4
NASCAR's Greg Biffle is a hands-on kind of guy. The reigning NASCAR Truck Series Champion is a self-proclaimed motorhead who "lives to burn gas every weekend." And as a regular on the NASCAR Busch Series tour, we suspect he's getting his wish.
So you'd figure a guy who drives race trucks for a living probably has some hi-po hauler of his own. Correct. Only Greg's truck features 6 inches of lift and rides on 38-inch tires.
As a hands-on enthusiast, Greg's last project was a '68 Chevy 4x4 with Dana 60s, ARBs, and a 500hp stroker small-block. This time around, he went with Blue Oval blue smoke and thunder, opting for a 2000 F-350 SuperDuty outfitted with the 7.4L turbodiesel. Of course, this truck got the Biffle touch as well.
Borrowing a bay and some tools from Roush Racing, Greg installed a 6-inch Skyjacker Soft Ride suspension with a triple shock setup up front. The lift makes room for huge 38-1/2-inch Swampers mounted on 12x16-1/2-inch Ultra wheels.
Upping the ante under the hood is a Banks upgrade kit that includes a 5-inch Hypermax exhaust, upgraded turbo housing, and a Hypermax computer upgrade, which brings up the electronically controlled boost. To handle the extra torque, the truck's automatic received a reworked valvebody.
The tan interior remains relatively stock with the exception of a dash-mounted boost and exhaust temperature gauge and an upgraded 250-watt sound system, using the stock head unit and two 10-inch subs along with upgraded speakers.
As you can tell, Greg's not afraid to get the big Ford dirty; he built it strictly for function rather than for show. But from a hands-on type of guy, what else would you expect?
Greg BiffleIf there was ever a rags-to-riches story in NASCAR, Greg Biffle could tell it. "Discovered" by Roush Racing during the Southwest Tour Winter Heat races in Tucson, Arizona, Biffle went on to compete in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 1998, winning four poles that year. In 1999, Biffle won nine races on his way to a Second Place point standings. A year later, he was crowned Series Champion. Today, Biffle is a successful rookie in the Busch Series, driving the Roush Racing Granger Ford.