Daytona Shootout: Veterans look back

Countdown to the 2008 Budweiser Shootout Veterans Look Back as Shootout Celebrates 30th Anniversary CHARLOTTE, N.C., (February 4, 2008) -- When the green flag drops on Speedweeks 2008 at Daytona International Speedway (DIS), it will kick off...

Countdown to the 2008 Budweiser Shootout
Veterans Look Back as Shootout Celebrates 30th Anniversary

CHARLOTTE, N.C., (February 4, 2008) -- When the green flag drops on Speedweeks 2008 at Daytona International Speedway (DIS), it will kick off with the running of the 30th Annual Budweiser Shootout. From its start as a 20-lap sprint taking place under the bright Florida sun in 1979 to its current form as a battle under the lights at DIS, drivers as well as fans have praised it as one of their favorite races on the schedule.

The 2008 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona is a seventy-lap race that is broken into two segments -- a twenty-lap segment with a 10-minute beer break before the start of the final 50 laps of the race.

NASCAR veterans Mark Martin and Dale Jarrett have competed in a combined 32 Budweiser Shootout events. Martin took the checkered flag in 1999 while Jarrett is a three-time winner (1996, 2000 and 2004). For Jarrett, who has already announced his retirement, this will mark his last appearance in the Budweiser Shootout.

"I can hardly believe it's been 30 years since the Shootout started," said Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 44 UPS Toyota. "It's just a fun race. I can remember watching it for so many years, dreaming about the day that I might be able to be a part of it and after winning the pole for the '95 Daytona 500 it gave me my first chance in 1996. Low and behold we were good enough to go out and win the race."

The Budweiser Shootout was first introduced as the Busch Clash in 1979. Following the first 19 events, Anheuser-Busch changed the name to the Bud Shootout. The current Budweiser Shootout moniker has been used beginning with the 2001 race.

"I think I may have been in all 30 of them or at least if feels that way sometimes," laughs Mark Martin who will compete in his record extending 20th consecutive Budweiser Shootout and his 21st overall. "Actually the first time I ran in the race it was still called the Busch Clash. It's always been a really cool event and really fun race to compete in. It is one of those deals where second place means nothing and teams can go out there and just go for it."

Dale Jarrett... "In my first opportunity of running the Budweiser Shootout, I won it. I guess we've won it two times since then. Again, it's just a fun race for the fans and as a driver, it's at a great venue and it's got a great name involved with it and that matters is winning it. I'm really looking forward to running it one last time."

Mark Martin... "It's the first race of the season, so often times you are still getting used to the new season or a new team and there is a lot of excitement that surrounds the event. I've been lucky enough to race in the majority of them and we were fortunate enough to win the event back in 1998. Hopefully we can go out there win us another won in the No. 8 U.S. Army Chevy this season. I can't think of a better way to get the season started in the No. 8."

By the Numbers...

2 - Dale Earnhardt's car number when he won his first Budweiser Shootout in 1980 while driving for Rod Osterlund. Earnhardt's remaining five victories came while driving the legendary No. 3 for car owner Richard Childress.

15 -- 16 - Each race held between 1979 and 1997, when the race totalled 20 laps took between 15 and 16 minute to complete with the exception of three -- 1993, 1996, and 1997. The shortest Budweiser Shootout on record is clocked at 15 minutes, 10 seconds, won by Bill Elliott at an average speed of 197.802 mph.

150,000 - The total purse money for the inaugural Busch Clash that took place in 1979.

1983 - This marks the first year that the caution flag fell during the running of The Budweiser Shootout.

-credit: budweiser

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Bill Elliott , Dale Jarrett , Mark Martin