Budweiser Shootout

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Basic Info 

Budweiser Shootout at Daytona 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 will 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 field, large accidents often seen in the Daytona 500 are less-common.

The Shootout lineup criteria was changed this off-season. Under this new format, a driver will have to have competed in at least one race in the last two Sprint Cup seasons. The 12 drivers who qualified for the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup get automatic berths into the race, as well as the reigning Cup Rookie of the Year. After those drivers, spots in the race will be given to past Winston/Nextel/Sprint Cup series champions, past Shootout winners, and any active driver who won either the Daytona 500 or Coke Zero 400 in the past. Twenty-eight drivers currently meet any or all of these qualifications, with Bill Elliott being the only one who meets all four of them (1985 and 1987 Daytona 500 wins; 1988 and 1991 Firecracker/Pepsi 400 wins; 1987 Shootout win; 1988 Winston Cup Championship).