Bud Shootout adds wildcards:


(NASCAR PR)(1-16-2009)

NASCAR announced Friday a revision to the 2009 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona format that provides each manufacturer with a ‘wild card’ entry, increasing the size of the field from 24 to 28 cars, highlighting the manufacturers’ involvement in NASCAR, and featuring more drivers for fans to support. The 31st annual season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway will be held on Saturday night, Feb. 7. As was announced last August, the lineup will consist of the top six teams from each manufacturer, based on the final 2008 car owner points. Eligibility is based on owners competing in this event with the same manufacturer as 2008. The new wrinkle calls for each manufacturer to be able to enter a seventh car, or “wild card” entry, based on the following criteria:

• Any owner outside of the top six in year end 2008 owners’ points whose driver is a past NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion that attempted to qualify for all of the 2008 events (only one position will be filled per manufacturer and will be based on the most recent past champion per manufacturer).

• If an owner/manufacturer does not have a past champion driver, the next highest eligible owner outside the top six in year end 2008 owners’ points from each manufacturer will be eligible to compete in the event.

As previously announced, the race distance will be 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. Crews will be permitted to work on cars and will be allowed to perform functions they would do on a normal pit stop in a regular NASCAR Sprint Cup event. All work must be performed on pit road or in the garage. Changing of springs, shock absorbers or rear-ends will not be permitted.

Starting positions will again be determined by a blind draw, at the annual Budweiser Shootout Draw Party on Thursday night, Feb. 5, on the SPEED stage in the Midway, outside Turn 4. As of today, cars eligible to compete in the 2009 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona would be as follows (using 2008 car numbers):

Chevrolet: 48, 29, 07, 31, 24, 88; wildcard #70 which will be #14 with Tony Stewart, past champ

Dodge: 9, 12, 2, 43, 19 , 7 [supposedly Gordon will run a Dodge for the race and switch to Toyota for the season]; wildcard #10

Toyota: 11, 20, 18, 83, 44 [will be #00], 55; wildcard #22 [if the team runs]

Ford: 99, 16, 17, 6, 26, 28; wildcard #38
[the #28 and #38 may be switching numbers with #98-Menard and #96-Labonte]

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