Multi car Winston Cup outfit Jack Roush Racing have announced that one of its five WC drivers, Chad Little, would not be continuing with the team next year.

Little, who drives the distinctive yellow and green #97 John Deere Ford Taurus has been with the team for three seasons after previously driving for Mark Rypien's Pontiac team. Little has yet to win a race in his Winston Cup career but scored a second place last season and finished inside the top twenty in points overall. This season Little sits in 20th position overall with a single top ten finish to his credit.

Roush, who also runs Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Kevin Lepage and Matt Kenseth in the Winston Cup, will continue to run the #97 car next year with an as yet unnamed driver. John Deere are expected to be retained as sponsors of the car.

Spokane, Wash, born Little has been part of the Winston Cup scene since 1986 but has only done five full years in the series.

The 37 year old driver made his WC debut at Riverside in 1986, driving in occasional races for a variety of teams over the next four seasons before doing a full season in 1991. Unable to raise the finance for a drive in '92, Little went back to the Busch Grand National series where he spent much of the next five years before returning to the Winston Cup on a near full time basis with John Deere and Mark Rypien in 1997. Despite not running a completely full schedule, Little and the team impressed many and shortly after the '97 season Jack Roush stepped in.

In 1998 Little finished 15th in three points standings even though he failed to qualify on several occasions due to the teams lack of provisional starting slots. In 1999 he continued to make encouraging progress despite not having the best of luck at times but this year things have come slightly unglued.

The driver market is not yet in full swing and by placing himself in full view of all the teams at an early stage, Chad has given himself the best possible chance of retaining his place in the championship.