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High Noon at Daytona: The Bud Shoot Out
by Jan Bazen

Although a preseason Nascar race has been around since 1979, it was not always known as the "Budweiser Shootout". In the beginning the preseason race was known as the "Busch Clash" and the first winner was Buddy Baker. Anheuser-Busch began title sponsorship in 1979, with the Busch Pole Award and the Busch Clash. The names were changed in 1997 to the Bud Pole Award and the Bud Shootout when the company changed its status to the "Official Beer of NASCAR".

Previous winners of the Busch Clash/Bud Shootout reads like a "Who's Who in Nascar Winston Cup Racing": Buddy Baker, Darrell Waltrip, Neil Bonnett, Terry Labonte, Bill Elliott, Ken Schrader, Mark Martin, Bobby Allison, Geoff Bodine, Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Rusty Wallace, Tony Stewart and of course Dale Earnhardt, who won the race six times from 1988-1995. Bonnett, Schrader, Gordon and Jarrett have each won the race twice.
The Budweiser Shootout has become an annual event at Daytona International Speedway and is held the week before the season-opening Daytona 500. The event has always been made up of winners of the pole positions from the previous race year, past winners of the Busch Clash/Bud Shootout, and past Winston Cup Champions. Last year's winner, Tony Stewart, earned $200,000.00 from Budweiser.

The drivers race for 70 laps and the starting positions are chosen by random drawing during the Nascar media day previous to the race. The race must end on a green lap and each driver must have one green lap pit stop that includes changing at least two tires. Drivers may pit under yellow but that stop will not count as the mandatory green lap stop. Caution laps are counted toward the 70 lap total.

This year's drivers are Elliott, Gordon, Jarrett, Martin, Dale Earnhardt, Jr (pole at Texas), Stacy Compton (pole at Talladega), Bobby Labonte (pole at California), Ryan Newman (pole at Lowes), Ricky Rudd (pole at Pocono), Sterling Marlin (pole at Daytona-July), Jimmy Spencer (pole at Indy-Aug), Todd Bodine (pole at Chicago-July), Ricky Craven (pole at Michigan-Aug), Jeff Green (pole at Bristol-Aug), Kurt Busch (pole at Darlington-Aug), Jason Leffler (pole at Kansas-Sept), Casey Atwood (pole at Phoenix-Oct) and Kenny Wallace (pole at Rockingham-Nov). 2001 had the largest number of new pole sitters in many years at 15.

This year's Bud Shootout will air on TNT at 2:30pm, (EST) on February 10, 2002. The lineup of the race will be determined on Thursday, February 7, 2002.

email Jan Bazen

Jan is an RN who lives on the North Carolina coast with her husband, three children and her dog. When not watching or reading about Nascar,  she enjoys fishing...any kind of fishing.  She enjoys gardening and reading.  Although Jan is new to the sport of Nascar, she was exposed to Nascar from the early, tender age of 5 by her older brother, Fred, who has always been a diehard Nascar fan. Jan welcomes any comments or opposing views.  You can contact her by clicking on the North Carolina tag above.

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2002 Car Guy of Benchfield
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