Brian Vickers Locks Up Budweiser Shootout Starting Spot
Brian Vickers won the pole last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway and locked up a starting spot for himself in the 2007 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night, Feb. 10.
Vickers, driving the No. 25 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, posted a track-record lap of 196.235 mph to earn his fourth career Bud Pole in 111 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series stars.
Vickers' Budweiser Shootout starting spot will put a second Toyota Camry in the All-Star, invitation-only race. Vickers is leaving Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the season to join Toyota's Team Red Bull, which will be part of manufacturer's first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season.
Dale Jarrett, who qualifies for the Budweiser Shootout as a past champion, will also drive a Toyota in 2007 for Michael Waltrip Racing.
"Anytime you can get a pole and set a track record is always pretty neat," said Vickers, who in two career starts in the Budweiser Shootout has finishes of 19th and 21st. "We were good from the time we unloaded. Sometimes you just have those kinds of cars. When we came off the truck I told Lance (McGrew, crew chief) the car just has a really good smooth feel to it all the way through the turn, entry, middle and exit."
Vickers becomes the 15th different Bud Pole winner in 2006 and adds his name to the growing list of All-Star drivers in next year's Budweiser Shootout, the non-points event that features the previous season's Bud Pole winners as well as past Budweiser Shootout champions.
Other drivers that have won pole positions during the 2006 season and qualified for 2007 Budweiser Shootout are David Gilliland, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, Elliott Sadler, Denny Hamlin, Scott Riggs, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman and Boris Said.
Past Budweiser Shootout champions eligible for the 2007 event are Jarrett, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Mark Martin, Ken Schrader and Bill Elliott.
Speedweeks 2007 kicks off with the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 27-28. Also on tap for the three-week festival of speed are the Budweiser Shootout (Feb. 10), the Gatorade Duel (Feb. 15), the Chevy Silverado HD 250 Craftsman Truck Series race and IROC (Feb. 16), the Daytona 300 Busch Series race (Feb. 17) and the 49th annual Daytona 500 (Feb. 18).
Tickets to all exciting events at Daytona International Speedway are available online at www.racetickets.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.