30th Annual Budweiser Shootout Packed With NASCAR’s Biggest Names

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 5, 2007) -- The field for the 30th annual Budweiser Shootout scheduled for Saturday night, Feb. 9 at Daytona International Speedway could be a record.

            With two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races still remaining in 2007, at least 22 drivers have qualified for the 2008 Budweiser Shootout, an electric 70-lap All-Star non-points race that features the previous season’s pole winners as well as past Budweiser Shootout champions. The record for most starters in the Budweiser Shootout is 22 set back in 2002.

The newest member to next year’s Budweiser Shootout field is Dale Earnhardt Inc.’s Martin Truex Jr., who captured last weekend’s Budweiser Pole in Fort Worth, Texas behind the wheel of the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet.

"Being in Daytona and not being in the Shootout is the worst feeling in the world,” Truex said. “All your buddies are out there racing and you are sitting there watching them on TV, just wishing. It is the first race of the year and you want to be part of it. We are glad to be there finally.

“We have worked hard on it all year. The guys put a lot of effort in it in the last two months and we have been real close, we just haven't been able to get it done. I am real proud of the job my team has been able to do for me and glad to get it out of the way. Hopefully we will win the Shootout so we don't have to worry about it any more, we will be in it for a long time."

Besides Truex Jr., other drivers that have already won pole positions during the 2007 season and qualified for the Budweiser Shootout include David Gilliland, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, J.J. Yeley, Jamie McMurray, Dave Blaney, Casey Mears,

Reed Sorenson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Michael Waltrip and Greg Biffle.

Among the past winners of the Budweiser Shootout eligible include 2007 Budweiser Shootout champion Tony Stewart, Dale Jarrett, Mark Martin, Ken Schrader and Bill Elliott.

The 30th annual Budweiser Shootout will be the first NASCAR Car of Tomorrow race at Daytona International Speedway and will be the first race that Earnhardt Jr. will race with his new team at Hendrick Motorsports.

Tickets to the 30th annual Budweiser Shootout as well as other DIRECTV Speedweeks events are available online at www.racetickets.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.