Daytona Shootout: Changes in the 2008 field

Countdown to the 2008 Budweiser Shootout Changes for 2008 to Debut in Saturday's Shootout CHARLOTTE, N.C., (February 6, 2008) -- With the start of every new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season one thing is certain -- change. Car owners welcome new...

Countdown to the 2008 Budweiser Shootout
Changes for 2008 to Debut in Saturday's Shootout

CHARLOTTE, N.C., (February 6, 2008) -- With the start of every new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season one thing is certain -- change. Car owners welcome new drivers and crew members to their teams while drivers carry the colors of new sponsors on their uniforms. In 2008, two of NASCAR's major series will undergo rebranding of their title sponsors while the sport welcomes the new-generation car, formerly known as the Car of Tomorrow (COT), to full time competition.

For 23 teams, the official 2008 season debut is scheduled for the 30th Annual Budweiser Shootout on Feb. 9th at Daytona International Speedway (DIS). Gillett Evernham Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne will climb behind the wheel for his first race as the driver of the No. 9 Budweiser Dodge, after announcing a partnership with the iconic brand last September.

"This is my fourth time running in this race but my first with Budweiser as my sponsor so that's going to be pretty exciting for me and the whole Budweiser team," Kahne said. "It's a big thrill to carry the Budweiser colors, especially to start it off with the Shootout and to be able to represent them in their race."

Yates Racing driver David Gilliland, pole-winner for the 2007 Daytona 500, competed at DIS for the first time last February in the Shootout. The California native believes that there are benefits beyond the opportunity to visit victory lane by running in Saturday's race.

"It's incredibly important to get as much track time as we can with this car making its debut at Daytona this year," Gilliland said. "The Shootout will be the first time we are able to drive the new car under race conditions at Daytona and having additional time with the car on the track gives our team the chance to get more information about how it will handle here. We'll have a jump on being able to check out tire wear and try some of our set-up options. Any time you have an opportunity to get extra track time, you just try to get as much information as you can to benefit from that opportunity."

Kasey Kahne (Driver of #9 Budweiser Dodge) -- "I think this race is going to mean a little extra this year for the teams competing in it because it is the first time this car style is racing at Daytona. We were able to learn a little about it at Talladega last year but Daytona is a little different track than Talladega because handling comes into play a little more. This car bounces around more and moves on the track a lot more. It's just a different handling car that's going to take time but for those of us in the Shootout, we'll at least have a little head start on the rest of the field."

David Gilliland (Driver of the #38 Ford) -- "It would be extra special to be able to claim the title for the 30th Annual Budweiser Shootout. I really enjoyed running in the Shootout last year and I think it's such a unique and fun race to be able to participate in. It means a lot to me as far as getting an opportunity to get more experience with the new car at Daytona. I feel that earning a place to compete in the Budweiser Shootout is an advantage since the race is a week before the 500. Not only is it helpful for the drivers, but it allows the teams to try certain things with the cars that they might not have been able to try at the Daytona 500."

By the Numbers...

0 - The number of times the Car of Tomorrow has been raced at Daytona.

4 - The number of total Budweiser Shootout wins for which three-time winners Tony Stewart and Dale Jarrett are aiming.

10 - A 10-minute beer break will separate the two segments of the Budweiser Shootout, taking place after the first 20 laps to allow teams the chance to adjust on cars before the start of the final 50 laps.

215,000 - The prize awarded to the driver that wins the 30th Budweiser Shootout at Daytona.

-credit: budweiser

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett , Tony Stewart , Kasey Kahne , David Gilliland
Teams Yates Racing