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The Budweiser Shootout, NASCAR's season-opening event, will undergo a major format change in 2009 with the top-six drivers in owner's points for each car manufacturer eligible for a starting berth. NASCAR's season-opening event is scheduled for Saturday night, Feb. 7 at Daytona International Speedway.

ST. LOUIS and DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 26, 2008) - The Budweiser Shootout, NASCAR's season-opening event, will undergo a major format change in 2009 with the top-six drivers in owner’s points for each car manufacturer eligible for a starting berth. NASCAR’s season-opening event is scheduled for Saturday night, Feb. 7 at Daytona International Speedway.

In addition, other format changes include:

  • Event distance increases from 70 laps to 75 laps
  • 10-minute intermission after 25 laps; teams can change tires, add fuel and make normal chassis adjustments

"We’re thrilled about the new format for the Budweiser Shootout," said Daytona International Speedway president Robin Braig. “This new look for the Budweiser Shootout will provide added excitement for the race fans, teams, drivers and manufacturers as NASCAR kicks off its new season at its most storied venue.”

“The Budweiser Shootout is one of the most anticipated events on the racing calendar for both drivers and fans, and we feel the new format will certainly retain the fast-paced excitement and competitive spirit of the race,” said Tony Ponturo, vice president of global media and sports marketing for Anheuser-Busch, Inc. “The Shootout marks the start of a new NASCAR season and provides a benchmark for teams as they gear up for the annual Daytona 500.”

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The Budweiser Shootout will continue to be televised live on the FOX Network and feature the traditional post-race concert. Tickets for the Budweiser Shootout as well as other DIRECTV Speedweeks events are available online at http://www.racetickets.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

The draw party to determine the Budweiser Shootout’s starting grid will continue to be televised by SPEED and remains open to the fans. It will take place on the SPEED Stage on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009.

The Budweiser Shootout returns as part of Budweiser’s multi-year sponsorship renewal with Daytona International Speedway, announced in July. The “Great American Lager” will continue to sponsor the “Great American Race” as the Official Beer of Daytona International Speedway, the Daytona 500 and the track’s numerous annual events.

Launched as the Busch Clash in 1979, the name changed to the Bud Shootout in 1998, and in 2001, became the Budweiser Shootout. Repeat champions include Dale Earnhardt (6), Dale Jarrett (3), Tony Stewart (3), and Neil Bonnett, Ken Schrader, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. with two victories each. In fact, the 1998 race won by Bill Elliott with an average speed of 197.802 mph stands as the fastest sanctioned race in the history of NASCAR.

Daytona International Speedway is the flagship facility of International Speedway Corporation and home to the Daytona 500, NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious event. Daytona International Speedway is a versatile motorsports facility also hosting the Rolex 24 At Daytona, North America’s premier sports car race, as well as the legendary Daytona 200 By Honda motorcycle classic.

Budweiser American-style lager follows the same recipe

since 1876. Brewed with only the finest hand-selected ingredients and Beechwood lagered for the perfect balance of flavor and refreshment, Budweiser is “the Great American Lager.” Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch is the leading American brewer, and ranked No. 1 among beverage companies in FORTUNE Magazine’s Most Admired U.S. and Global Companies lists in 2008. Anheuser-Busch is one of the largest theme park operators in the United States and is one of the world’s largest recyclers of aluminum cans. For more information, visit www.budweiser.com.

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