Need Help: Data structure for driving game

Hey guys.
 I've been trying to think of the most memory efficient, practical way to
building a data structure for a driving game. To any of you who have been
to an arcade lately, lets say like Sega's "Sega Rally" or "Daytona". My
cousin suggested a linked list of polygons and then just use a texture
mapping routine to cover it with gravel/pavement textures.
There's gotta be a better way... do you have any ideas? Thanks.

                                                Mark M.