Daytona Shootout: Countdown day one

Countdown to the 2010 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona -- Day One Five days to go before the 32nd Running of the Budweiser Shootout DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 1, 2010) ----- The start to the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is just around...

Countdown to the 2010 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona -- Day One
Five days to go before the 32nd Running of the Budweiser Shootout

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 1, 2010) ----- The start to the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is just around the corner and kicking off the sport's upcoming season is the annual Budweiser Shootout at Daytona on Saturday, Feb. 6. This will be the 32nd running of the annual season-opening race.

The 2010 version of the Budweiser Shootout features a new qualifying format for the third time in the 32-year history of the race. An emphasis was placed on championship contenders and success at the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway as the starting field is made up of 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship contenders, former Sprint Cup Series champions and former Budweiser Shootout winners in addition to winners of the Daytona 500 and the annual Fourth of July weekend Coke Zero 400.

The format change has created opportunity for some drivers that may not have qualified under the previous format in addition to opening the race to some of the NASCAR's older stars such as Ken Schrader and Geoff Bodine.

"When I heard about the new format I was tremendously excited," said two-time Shootout winner Ken Schrader, who will be driving the No. 82 Red Bull Toyota. "To be in this season's Shootout with such a top-caliber car, a strong teammate like Brian Vickers and the whole Red Bull organization for this kickoff event has me on Cloud 9."

"The new format helps to really bring light to a very exclusive fraternity of drivers -- those that have won on one of NASCAR's biggest stages in Daytona International Speedway," said Jamie McMurray, winner of the 2007 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. "I like the new format -- mainly because it puts my team and my sponsor in the race. But really, I think the new format will only 'ramp up' the excitement among drivers at both of the races at Daytona. I think this will make the drivers try a little harder when it comes to winning a race there. The new format helps to really shine the light on a very exclusive fraternity of drivers -- those that have won on one of NASCAR's biggest stages in Daytona International Speedway."

Jeff Burton, driver of the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet

"I've always said that I don't like standing on the sidelines when there is a race going on. So, with that, I'm excited to be a part of the Budweiser Shootout this season. The new qualifying format showcases drivers who have been victorious at Daytona and I think this year's event will not only be very competitive, but the mix of drivers will add a lot of excitement for the fans."

By the Numbers ...

3 - The qualifying format for the Budweiser has changed only three times in the event's 32-year history.

7 - The 1981 starting lineup for the Budweiser Shootout included only seven drivers.

8 - The Budweiser Shootout race format has changed eight times in 32 years with the current format being in place since 2009. The current format features a 75-lap race that features a 10-minute halftime break after the first 25 laps.

28 - The number of drivers that qualify for the 2010 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona is 28. The number 28 is also the most starters to make up the Budweiser Shootout starting field -- a feat accomplished during the 2009 Budweiser Shootout.

-source: budweiser

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Ken Schrader , Jamie McMurray , Brian Vickers