DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The 32nd annual Budweiser Shootout, the prestigious non-points NASCAR event that kicks off Speedweeks 2010 and the new Sprint Cup Series season, will have new qualifying criteria beginning in 2010, Daytona International Speedway President Robin Braig announced.
Moving forward, the field for the Budweiser Shootout will be comprised of:
• The 12 drivers who qualified for the previous year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup
• Past NASCAR Sprint Cup champions
• Past Budweiser Shootout champions
• Past Daytona 500 and Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola champions
• The reigning Raybestos Rookie of the Year
“As NASCAR evolves, we tailor the Budweiser Shootout’s qualifying criteria to provide fans with a lineup that showcases NASCAR’s best drivers on the high banks of Daytona,” Braig said. “The new criteria put a premium on race winners at NASCAR’s most storied track – Daytona International Speedway – and we’re looking forward to kicking off the new season with an electric night of racing.”
“The Budweiser Shootout has marked the start of a new racing season for more than 30 years,” said Mark Wright, vice president of media, sponsorship and activation, Anheuser-Busch. “Given the changes in the sport over the past year, we feel this new format gives fans a true race of champions.”
The race distance will continue to be 75 laps (187.5 miles) on the 2.5-mile tri-oval. The race will have two segments, of 25 and 50 laps. Both green- and yellow-flag laps will count.
Between segments, there will be a 10-minute pit stop at which time teams will pit and may elect to change tires, add fuel and make normal chassis adjustments.
Starting positions will be determined by a 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, which is scheduled for 8:10 p.m., is the climax to a racing tripleheader on Saturday, Feb. 6. Kicking off the day’s activities at 1:05 p.m. will be Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger, which will set the front row for the 52nd annual Daytona 500.
At 4:30 p.m., the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards will kick off their season with the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 and Danica Patrick will make her much-anticipated stock car racing debut.
Tickets for all Speedweeks 2010 events are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP and fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter (www.twitter.com/disupdates) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DaytonaInternationalSpeedway)
Drivers eligible for the 2010 Budweiser Shootout
2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup drivers
Juan Pablo Montoya
Others – criteria filled in parentheses
John Andretti (Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola)
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)
• Eligibility based on a driver having competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series within the last two seasons.