Countdown to the Shootout: Spectators

Countdown to the Budweiser Shootout: 50 Reasons Why You Should Go (Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2005) -- If you still haven't made plans to go to the 27th running of the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, here are 50 reasons why you should: 1. It's the first...

Countdown to the Budweiser Shootout: 50 Reasons Why You Should Go

(Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2005) -- If you still haven't made plans to go to the 27th running of the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, here are 50 reasons why you should:

1. It's the first race of the season.

2. It's under the lights at Daytona.

3. The winner isn't determined by BCS ranking.

4. It's got eight of the 10 Chase drivers from 2004 competing in it, including the top seven.

5. It's your first chance to see the renovated Daytona International Speedway.

6. The starting order is set by qualifying draw, the qualifying draw is held at a party, and the party has lots of Budweiser.

7. Two of the three retiring drivers -- Mark Martin and Rusty Wallace -- are set to race in the 2005 Budweiser Shootout to officially begin their highly publicized farewell tours.

8. Wallace and Martin have a combined 35 Shootout starts, but only one win each.

9. It's is everything you want in a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race, but without the nightmarish traffic of 200,000 people leaving all at the same time.

10. It's your first chance to enjoy the new Fan Zone area in the infield.

11. The Daytona 500 -- or sitting in its post-race traffic -- will conflict with "Desperate Housewives", while the Budweiser Shootout will not.

12. Four drivers who have never been in the Shootout -- Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne, Brian Vickers and Casey Mears -- will be thrown into the cauldron for the first time.

13. It's the best indicator of who will contend for the Daytona 500.

14. If Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins, it will be his 10th overall win at Daytona.

15. The band 3 Doors Down will be performing before and after the race.

16. The Budweiser Shootout is affordable, proving that you don't have to take out a loan or steal from the offering plate to go to a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event.

17. It's Ryan Newman's treat for winning nearly every stinkin' Bud Pole Award.

18. There are no field-fillers in this race.

19. You need a cool gathering place for you and your buddies to hold your Fantasy Baseball draft.

20. If last year was any indication, Hendrick Motorsports and DEI are sure to continue its fierce grudge match for restrictor-plate dominance.

21. Football season is over and you have nothing else better to do on your weekends.

22. It's the first real chance to see new paint schemes for 2005.

23. The Budweiser Shootout is the only race with a built-in beer run. That's right, the 10-minute intermission after 20 laps is the perfect time to reload on Budweiser.

24. The race ends early enough that you are sure to see half the drivers at the bar later that night.

25. The purse for this race exceeds $1,087,300, and while you don't get any of that money, it's still fun to see the guys who do fight over it.

26. Your Christmas presents were junk and it's time you look out for No. 1.

27. The Budweiser Shootout is everything you want in a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race, but without the need for an attention span. This race is only 70 laps and 175 miles long, so leave your A.D.D. medication at home.

28. Four tickets to the Shootout are still less expensive than an iPod mini.

29. This race guaranteed a green-white-checkered finish long before NASCAR mandated green-white-checkered finishes for its points races.

30. Because you're not getting any younger.

31. If drivers raced every week like they do in the Budweiser Shootout, we wouldn't have needed a Chase for the Championship.

32. If Abraham Lincoln were still alive, he'd be turning 196 that day and we'd be partying anyway.

33. Dale Earnhardt won this race six times, twice as many as any other driver.

34. The last 11 Shootouts were decided by three-tenths of a second or less.

35. Someone you know has never been to a NASCAR event, so why not treat them to the Budweiser Shootout?

36. Amid of series of off-season personnel changes, four drivers -- Bobby Labonte, Jeremy Mayfield, Brian Vickers and Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- will be working with new crew chiefs for the first time at the Bud Shootout.

37. In the last two years, Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished first or second after starting dead last both times?

38. If Dale Jr. wins, it will be the 44th time an Earnhardt has won at Daytona.

39. This year's Shootout will be one of only a handful of races in which Bill Elliott will enter.

40. Starting first means little in the Shootout. Only three drivers in the Shootout's 26-year history have won from the pole -- Darrell Waltrip, Bill Elliott and Ken Schrader.

41. Drivers can't merely settle for the best possible points finish in a race that doesn't award any.

42. Construction workers at Daytona International Speedway withstood three hurricanes and countless hours of overtime to have its renovation project done in time for this race.

43. It's the feature event of a Saturday doubleheader, which starts with the Advance Auto Parts 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series race.

44. It's the first chance to see the new Dodge Chargers.

45. It's one of the few races where Busch drivers, Truck drivers and non-eligible Cup drivers all stand out on top of their motorcoaches and watch like fans.

46. Like at all Budweiser events, it's a hip crowd.

47. It's healthier than watching it on TV.

48. If your New Years resolutions are to lose weight and go to the Budweiser Shootout, you should at least accomplish one of them in 2005.

49. If you have to go to work on Monday, then a Sunday race totally screws you up. The Budweiser Shootout, on the other hand, is on a Saturday.

50. The Budweiser Shootout is everything you want in a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race, plus one more thing that can only be said by Dale Earnhardt Jr: "The Budweiser Shootout is like a bar fight, but the cars take the beatin'."

The 27th running of the Budweiser Shootout is scheduled for Sat., Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. ET. 3 Doors Down will perform before and after the race, kicking off their 2005 world tour. Race tickets are available by calling 1-800-Pit-Shop or by logging on to www.1800Pitshop.com. For more information on the Budweiser Shootout, including photos, logos, statistics and past news releases from the Countdown Series, please log on to www.fingerprintonline.com.

-budweiser- \

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Bill Elliott , Bobby Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Rusty Wallace , Ken Schrader , Greg Biffle , Ryan Newman , Casey Mears , Kasey Kahne , Brian Vickers , Mark Martin
Teams Hendrick Motorsports