Paul Menard was the driver with the hot hand on a chilly night at the 2009 Budweiser Shootout Draw Party on Thursday night at Daytona International Speedway.

DAYTONA BEACH , Fla. (Feb. 5, 2009) – Paul Menard was the driver with the hot hand on a chilly night at the 2009 Budweiser Shootout Draw Party on Thursday night at Daytona International Speedway.

For his first career Budweiser Shootout start, Menard, the driver of the No. 98 Menard’s Ford, picked the Budweiser bottle with the pole position flag inside.

“I had my eye on the bottle on the far right for a while and it worked out,” Menard said. “We’ll get a good, clean start and just try to hold them off.”

Other notable starters for the Budweiser Shootout, which is featuring a new format in 2009, include Tony Stewart (sixth), two-time defending Budweiser Shootout champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. (ninth), Kasey Kahne (14th), three-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson (21st) and Jeff Gordon (28th).

The Budweiser Shootout will feature a star-studded lineup in a new format. The field will consist of the top six teams from each manufacturer based on the final 2008 car owner's points. Eligibility is based on owners competing in this event with the same manufacturer as 2008. In addition, each manufacturer will be able to enter a seventh car or "wild card" entry.

The race distance has also been increased from 70 laps to 75 (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.

Popular country music star Dierks Bentley, whose latest album “Feel That Fire” will be released on Feb. 3, will perform before thousands of race fans before and after the Budweiser Shootout.

Bentley, who previously performed a pre-race and post-race concert for the 2007 Budweiser Shootout, will sing three of his hit songs from the Pre-Race Stage before the start of the Budweiser Shootout.  The performance of his latest hit, “Feel That Fire.” will be carried live on FOX Sports as part of the festivities.  After the checkered flag drops, Bentley will perform a 60-minute post-race concert from the Sprint FANZONE Entertainment Stage.

Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access holders will be able to view the pre-race concert from the tri-oval grass while all ticket holders will have access to the post-race concert, which will start in the Sprint FANZONE approximately 30-minutes after the end of the race.

Prior to the Budweiser Shootout, the ARCA RE/MAX Series will kick off their season with the Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200.

For ticket information on the Budweiser Shootout as well as other DIRECTV Speedweeks events, visit or call 1-800-PITSHOP.

  The complete starting lineup for the 2009 Budweiser Shootout that will be run Saturday night, Feb. 7th at Daytona International Speedway is as follows:

1.      Paul Menard

2.      Elliott Sadler

3.      Reed Sorenson

4.      Scott Speed

5.      Denny Hamlin

6.      Tony Stewart

7.      Brian Vickers

8.      Bobby Labonte

9.      Dale Earnhardt Jr.

10. Kyle Busch

11. Carl Edwards

12. Kurt Busch

13. Robby Gordon

14. Kasey Kahne

15. Jaime McMurray

16. David Ragan

17. Michael Waltrip

18. A.J. Allmendinger

19. Joey Logano

20. David Stemme

21. Jimmie Johnson

22. David Reutimann

23. Jeff Burton

24. Casey Mears

25. Matt Kenseth

26. Greg Biffle

27. Kevin Harvick

28. Jeff Gordon


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