DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 23, 2009) – NASCAR announced Wednesday a revision to the 2010 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona format that provides fans with a strong lineup of drivers highlighted by last year’s top performers and a collection of previous winners at the sport’s most-storied race track.
The 32nd annual season-opening event launches Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 6 with green flag set for 8:10 p.m. The new criteria are based upon the following qualifications, with eligibility based on a driver having competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series within the last two seasons:
- The 12 drivers that qualified for the 2009 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup
- Past NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions
- Past Budweiser Shootout champions
- Past Daytona 500 and Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola champions
- The reigning Raybestos Rookie of the Year
“We’re always looking at ways to make this event bigger and better for our fans and we believe the new format for the Budweiser Shootout puts together an exceptionally strong lineup of our top drivers,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition.
“In our discussions with the track, we thought by placing an additional emphasis on the drivers who had performed well at Daytona over the years would create an even more compelling element for the fans to get excited about at the beginning of the season.”
The race distance will continue to be 75 laps (187.5 miles), consisting of two segments – 25 and 50 laps. Both green-flag laps and yellow-flag laps will count. Between segments there will be a 10-minute pit stop allowing teams to pit and change tires, add fuel and make normal chassis adjustments. Crews will be permitted to work on cars and will be allowed to perform functions they would do on a normal pit stop in a regular NASCAR Sprint Cup event. All work must be performed on pit road or in the garage. Changing of springs, shock absorbers or rear-ends will not be permitted.
Starting positions will again be determined by a blind-draw at the annual Budweiser Shootout Draw Party on Thursday night, Feb. 4 on the SPEED stage in the Midway, outside Turn 4.
The Budweiser Shootout – a “non-points” event for NASCAR Sprint Cup competitors – was first held in 1979, originally known as the Busch Clash. Kevin Harvick won last year’s event.
Tickets for all 2010 Speedweeks events are now available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
Drivers eligible for the 2010 Budweiser Shootout include:
2009 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Drivers
- Jimmie Johnson
- Mark Martin
- Jeff Gordon
- Kurt Busch
- Denny Hamlin
- Tony Stewart
- Greg Biffle
- Juan Pablo Montoya
- Ryan Newman
- Kasey Kahne
- Carl Edwards
- Brian Vickers
Others (filled by criteria in parentheses)
- John Andretti (Coke Zero 400)
- Geoff Bodine (Daytona 500, Budweiser Shootout)
- Jeff Burton (Coke Zero 400)
- Kyle Busch (Coke Zero 400)
- Derrike Cope (Daytona 500)
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Daytona 500, Coke Zero 400, Budweiser Shootout)
- Bill Elliott (Series champion, Daytona 500, Coke Zero 400, Budweiser Shootout)
- Kevin Harvick (Daytona 500, Budweiser Shootout)
- Matt Kenseth (Series champion, Daytona 500)
- Bobby Labonte (Series champion)
- Terry Labonte (Series champion, Budweiser Shootout)
- Joey Logano (Reigning Raybestos Rookie of the Year)
- Sterling Marlin (Daytona 500, Coke Zero 400)
- Jamie McMurray (Coke Zero 400)
- Ken Schrader (Budweiser Shootout)
- Michael Waltrip (Daytona 500, Coke Zero 400)
What do you think of the new criteria? Is it just a way to get certain drivers into the Shootout or is it a needed change? Let us know in the comments below.