The Budweiser Shootout is an annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series exhibition event held at Daytona International Speedway in February, the weekend before the Daytona 500. It began as the 'Busch Clash' and was a fifty-mile "all-out sprint". In its current format, it is made up of two segments: a short 20-lap segment, followed by a ten-minute intermission. After the intermission, the race concludes with a 50-lap segment in which each car may need to make a pit stop for fuel. The race, like the Sprint All-Star Race held at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May, carries no points for the winner but rather a large purse, circumstances which are supposed to encourage an all-out driving style not seen in regular-season races, where one serious mistake can largely ruin a season. However, due to the smaller fields, huge accidents normally seen in the Daytona 500 are uncommon. The smaller, invitation-only field consists of all of the pole position winners from the previous season as well as former event winners. The starting lineup is determined by a random draw, not by qualifying as all other races are determined.
Budweiser will discontinue sponsorship of the NASCAR pole award after the 2007 season, and be replaced by Coors. The 2008 Budweiser Shootout will be held as scheduled, but may be the last running. The contract with Coors did not include any announcements for future runnings of the race.
The 1987 race, won by Bill Elliott was completed at an average speed of 197.802 mph. It stands as the fastest sanctioned race in the history of NASCAR (though it was not an official points-paying event).
- 1979-1990: The race consisted of a single twenty-lap (50-mile) green flag sprint with no pit stops required.
- 1991-1997: The race was broken into two ten-lap, green flag segments. The field was then inverted for the second ten-lap segment. Prize money was awarded for both segments for all positions.
- 1998-2000: The event was renamed the Bud Shootout, and consisted of two 25-lap (62.5-mile) races, the Bud Shootout Qualifier at 11 a.m., and the Bud Shootout itself at 12 p.m. One two-tire pit stop was required for each race. The winner of the qualifier advanced to the main event.
- 2001-2002: The event was renamed the Budweiser Shootout and expanded to a new distance, 70 laps (175 miles). Caution laps would be counted, but the finish had to be under green, with the Craftsman Truck Series green-white-checker rule applying if necessary. A minimum of one two-tire green flag pit was required. The Bud Shootout Qualifier was discontinued as qualifying for Cup races had been reduced to one round.
- 2003-2008: The race was broken up into two segments: a 20-lap segment, followed by a ten-minute intermission, concluding with a 50-lap second segment. While a pit stop was no longer required by rule, a reduction in fuel cell size (from 22 gallons to 13.5 gallons) made a fuel stop necessary. Many drivers also changed two tires during their fuel stop, as the time required to fuel the car allows for a two-tire change without delay.
- 1979-1997: Pole position winners from the previous season clinched automatic berths. The drivers that were the fastest qualifiers for the previous year's races' during Busch Second Round Qualifying were eligible for one wild card spot. The wild card driver was selected by blind draw during the week of the NASCAR awards banquet or during the January media tour.
- From 1995-1996, the winner of the most pole positions in the secondary NASCAR Busch Series won an entry into the Busch Clash, driving a Busch-sponsored car. David Green won the right both times.
- 1998-2000: Pole position winners from the previous season clinched automatic berths. Drivers eligible from Second Round Qualifying participated in the Bud Shootout Qualifier, with the winner advancing to the Bud Shootout.
- 2001-2008: Pole position winners from the previous season clinched automatic berths, in addition, all former winners of the event not already qualified received automatic berths.
- NASCAR eliminated second round qualifying beginning in 2001. For the 2001 Budweiser Shootout only, the drivers eligible from second round qualifying of 2000 events were placed in a blind draw for the final wild card starting position, as had been done from 1979-1997.
- 2009: Top 7 teams from each manufacture based on Owner points.
- 2010: The top 12 drivers in points from the previous season, past NASCAR Sprint Cup Champions, past Budweiser Shootout winners, past Daytona 500 and Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola winners, and the reigning Raybestos Rookie of the Year.
2010 Entry ListEdit
- 1979: The race debuted on Sunday, broadcast live on CBS. Pole position qualifying for the Daytona 500 would start Sunday at 10 a.m., followed by the ARCA 200. The Busch Clash would be held after the ARCA race at 3 p.m.
- 1980: Heavy winds during Daytona 500 pole qualifying delayed the proceedings and the ARCA 200 began 90 minutes later than scheduled. As 3 p.m. approached, the ARCA race was red flagged and halted so that the Busch Clash could be held as scheduled and be shown on live television. After the Clash was finished, the ARCA race resumed.
- 1981: Morning rain washed out Daytona 500 pole qualifying, which was rescheduled for the following day. After the track dried Sunday, the ARCA race began at 2:30 p.m. The Busch Clash, scheduled for 3 p.m., was held following the delayed ARCA race.
- 1983: Rain washed out all scheduled activities for Sunday. The Busch Clash was rescheduled and run the following day, Monday.
- 1985: Track officials reorganized the schedule for track activities for the weekend. Daytona 500 pole qualifying was moved from Sunday to Saturday, and the Busch Clash was moved from 3 p.m. to 12 p.m. on Sunday. The ARCA 200 was then held after the Busch Clash rather than before.
- 1992: For one year, Daytona 500 pole qualifying and the Busch Clash swapped days. The Busch Clash was held Saturday, and qualifying was held Sunday. This move was made at the request of CBS, who wanted the additional time on Sunday for their coverage of the 1992 Winter Olympics.
- 1995: Morning rain delayed the start by 30 minutes.
- 2001: FOX broadcasts the race for the first time. It also marked the first race televised on FOX. The start time was shifted to 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
- 2002: TNT broadcast the race for the first time.
- 2003: The race was moved from Sunday afternoon to Saturday night at 8 p.m. In addition, pole qualifying for the Daytona 500 was moved to Sunday afternoon, and the ARCA race was moved to Saturday afternoon, just prior to the Shootout.
- 2004: A crash at the final lap resulted in controversy. A 2003 incident at Loudon involving Dale Jarrett and Casey Mears had resulted in the banning of racing back to the caution. In this case, NASCAR did not wave the caution at the end of the race despite a crash involving Ryan Newman and Jamie McMurray, and allow the race to run to the finish, creating a potentially dangerous situation.
- 2006: The event was postponed from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon due to rain. This was also the first shootout to feature the green-white-checkered finish.
- 2007: Tony "Smoke" Stewart won the race for the third time driving his #20 Home Depot car. It was the second win in a row for Joe Gibbs Racing because Denny Hamlin became the first rookie to win the event in 2006 in his Fedex #11.
- 2008: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the race for the second time, and won in his first start with Hendrick Motorsports. He also made the record of leading the most laps, 47, during the shootout.
Race notes Edit
- Five times the winner of the Budweiser Shootout has gone on to win the Daytona 500 the following weekend: Bobby Allison (1982), Bill Elliott (1987), Dale Jarrett (1996, 2000), and Jeff Gordon (1997).
- No driver has ever won the Budweiser Shootout, their Gatorade Duel, and the Daytona 500 in the same speedweeks.
- While it was still named the Busch Clash, on two occasions, the race had the year in its official title. The Busch Clash of '89 and the Busch Clash of '93 were the respective advertised titles.
- The drivers themselves qualify as eligible for the Budweiser Shootout, not the teams. If an eligible driver for the upcoming Shootout switches teams in the off-season, the driver, not the team, is eligible for the race. That driver competes in the race with his new team.
- Drivers who win the pole award at a race must have had an Anheuser-Busch decal (the Busch brand from 1979-2000, and the Budweiser brand since 2001), or the corporate logo affixed to their car (for drivers under 21 years of age) at the time in order to earn the berth for the Budweiser Shootout. If the car does not carry the sticker, the Budweiser Pole Award goes to the next car eligible, but the driver which wins the Budweiser Pole Award does not earn a Shootout spot.
- In 1998, John Andretti was eligible to race in the Bud Shootout for having won a pole position in 1997 racing for Cale Yarborough. In the off-season, Andretti switched to Petty Enterprises, which was not allowed to participate, since they chose not affix the proper decals to their cars. Andretti participated in the race in a one-off ride with Hendrick Motorsports. (Ricky Craven, the regular driver for Hendrick's Budweiser-sponsored Chevrolet, did not qualify for the race; Andretti drove the Hendrick car, which carried the usual #25 instead of the #50 used by the team for NASCAR's 50-year celebration.)
- Bobby Hamilton won the pole position for the 1997 Miller 400 racing for Petty Enterprises, but was not eligible for the 1998 Bud Shootout since the team chose not to affix the proper decal.
- John Andretti won the pole position for the 1998 Primestar 500 racing for Petty Enterprises, but was not eligible for the 1999 Bud Shootout since the team chose not to affix the proper decal. Todd Bodine was the official winner of the Bud Pole Award by NASCAR rule, but not awarded a Budweiser Shootout position.
- Jeff Green won the pole position for the 2003 Daytona 500 racing Richard Childress Racing's #30 AOL Chevrolet, but did not participate in the 2004 Budweiser Shootout. Green changed teams twice in 2003 ending up in the #43 Petty Enterprises Dodge (which he also signed to drive in 2004). Since Petty does not permit alcohol decals on his Cup cars the #43 was ineligible for the Shootout. Green could have driven for another team, but chose not to do so.
- Drivers must carry a special decal without the Budweiser brand if they are under 21 years of age, but can race in the Budweiser Shootout. By Anheuser-Busch rule, Drivers must be 21 or older to wear Budweiser decals, and those under 21 must wear an Anheuser-Busch corporate logo Pole Award sticker, without any brand indication. Special stickers are made to cover up Budweiser stickers for such drivers, which has happened four times recently.
- On May 14, 2004, 20-year old Brian Vickers won poles at Richmond in the Chevy American Revolution 400.
- On September 3, 2004, Vickers won the pole at the Pop Secret 500 at Fontana.
- On February 26, 2005, 19-year old Kyle Busch won his first pole at the very same race in Fontana.
- For the 2006 Shootout, crew chief Alan Gustafson was forced to do the Shootout draw; Busch was 20 at the time and could not, by law, participate in any alcohol-sponsored activity, so his crew chief, who was 30, performed all Budweiser-related activities for the draw.
- On April 20, 2006, Busch won the pole at Avondale, Arizona at age 20 years 353 days.
- Dale Jarrett (2000) and Tony Stewart (2002, 2006, 2007) are the only drivers to win the Budweiser Shootout without having won a pole position the previous year. Jarrett advanced to the Shootout' by winning the Bud Shootout Qualifier, and Stewart was eligible for the Shootout via the 2001 rule change adding a lifetime exemption for former winners.
- 2006 Shootout winner Denny Hamlin was the first rookie to win the event. He had won the pole at Phoenix in a seven-race tryout for Joe Gibbs Racing to find a driver for the FedEx #11 car late in the 2005 NASCAR Season. A driver can make up to seven starts per season without giving up their eligibility to be a rookie in NASCAR.