Jason Leffler 21st Budweiser Shootout qualifier

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Oct. 1, 2001) -- The Budweiser Shootout At Daytona is Jason Leffler's favorite type of race. An all-out 70-lap dash for cash with an All-Star field made up of the previous year's Bud Pole winners and past Budweiser Shootout...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Oct. 1, 2001) -- The Budweiser Shootout At Daytona is Jason Leffler's favorite type of race. An all-out 70-lap dash for cash with an All-Star field made up of the previous year's Bud Pole winners and past Budweiser Shootout champions.

Last weekend, Leffler earned a spot in that exclusive field when he captured the Bud Pole for the Protection One 400 at Kansas Speedway. He turned a fast lap of 30.595 seconds at 176.499 mph to earn his first career Bud Pole in 23 NASCAR Winston Cup Series starts.

"I think it's great," said Leffler, who drives the No. 01 Cingular Dodge for Chip Ganassi Racing. "I wish all the races were the format of the Budweiser Shootout. It's short and reminds me of like a midget race or something like that. It's great to be included among the caliber of drivers. It's going to be a lot of fun.

"It's kind of an elbows up and go for it type of race. I'm looking forward to that."

If all 21 drivers choose to participate in the Budweiser Shootout on Feb. 10, it would set a record for most starters in the field since the inception of the event back in 1979. The previous mark was 18 drivers, set in last year's Budweiser Shootout.

Leffler, who is running for Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors this year, believes his participation in the Budweiser Shootout will yield some valuable information for the 44th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 17.

"I think so," Leffler said. "It's going to give me a little more money, I know that."

Tickets for 2002 Speedweeks events including the Budweiser Shootout At Daytona can be purchased online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.

<pre> A Look At The Current 2002 Budweiser Shootout At Daytona Field 2001 Bud Pole Award Winners Bill Elliott No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T Dale Jarrett No. 88 UPS Ford Jeff Gordon No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Chevrolet Mark Martin No. 6 Viagra Ford Dale Earnhardt Jr. No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Stacy Compton No. 92 Kodiak Dodge Intrepid R/T Bobby Labonte No. 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac Ryan Newman No. 02 Alltel Ford Ricky Rudd No. 28 Texaco-Havoline Ford Sterling Marlin No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T Todd Bodine No. 66 Kmart Blue Light Special Ford Jimmy Spencer No. 26 Kmart Ford Ricky Craven No. 32 Tide Ford Jeff Green No. 30 AOL Chevrolet Kurt Busch No. 97 Sharpie/Rubbermaid Ford Jason Leffler No. 01 Cingular Dodge Intrepid R/T

Former Budweiser Shootout winners that are also eligible for the 2002 Budweiser Shootout Tony Stewart (2001) Rusty Wallace (1998) Geoffrey Bodine (1992) Ken Schrader (1990) Terry Labonte (1985)

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Todd Bodine , Jason Leffler , Geoffrey Bodine , Ken Schrader , Jimmy Spencer , Jeff Green , Sterling Marlin , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Stacy Compton , Ricky Craven , Chip Ganassi , Mark Martin
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing