Daytona Speedweeks 2004, part IV

Budweiser Shootout reaches new heights under the lights. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Nov. 4, 2003) -- Earlier this year during Speedweeks 2003, the Budweiser Shootout, the no-holds barred All-Star race featuring the previous year's Bud Pole winners...

Budweiser Shootout reaches new heights under the lights.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Nov. 4, 2003) -- Earlier this year during Speedweeks 2003, the Budweiser Shootout, the no-holds barred All-Star race featuring the previous year's Bud Pole winners and past Budweiser Shootout champions, underwent a makeover.

For the first time in event history, the Budweiser Shootout, traditionally scheduled on the Sunday before the Daytona 500, was held under the lights in prime time on a Saturday night with a new format.

On Saturday night, Feb. 7, 2004, the electric nighttime atmosphere of the non-points race will return to historic Daytona International Speedway under the lights to kick off Speedweeks 2004.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. used his victory in this year's Budweiser Shootout to spark an amazing string of Speedweeks 2003 victories.

The driver of the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt Inc. followed up his Budweiser Shootout victory with triumphs in the Gatorade 125's and the Hershey's Kisses 300 NASCAR Busch Series race.

Earnhardt Jr. couldn't pull off the sweep in the Daytona 500, where he suffered electrical problems and settled for a 29th-place finish.

Earnhardt Jr. will be shooting for back-to-back Budweiser Shootout victories in the 26th edition of the Budweiser Shootout. He'll be facing a tough task as the field for the Budweiser Shootout could be the largest in the history of the event.

With three races remaining in the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule, 21 drivers have qualified for the Budweiser Shootout. The record for most drivers competing in the Budweiser Shootout is 22, which was set in 2002.

Drivers that have already secured spots by winning poles this season include Jeff Green, Dave Blaney, Bobby Labonte, Ryan Newman, Elliott Sadler, Jeremy Mayfield, Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte, Steve Park, Jimmie Johnson, Boris Said, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Mike Skinner.

Past winners already in the field are Earnhardt Jr., Mark Martin, Rusty Wallace, Ken Schrader, Bill Elliott, Dale Jarrett and Geoff Bodine.

Before the Budweiser Shootout goes green, the ARCA RE/MAX Series will warm things up at the "World Center of Racing" with the Advance Discount Auto Parts 200.

The ARCA RE/MAX Series is a proving ground for future NASCAR stars and past winners of the Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 at Daytona include Ryan Newman, Kenny Irwin, Mike Wallace, Kyle Petty, Joe Ruttman, Benny Parsons and Tim Richmond.

Chase Montgomery added his name to that list earlier this year when he held off veterans Bob Strait and Billy Venturini for the victory.

Tickets for the Budweiser Shootout, the Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 and other Speedweeks 2004 events are available online at www.daytonainternational speedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

-dis-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Tony Stewart , Steve Park , Mike Skinner , Kyle Petty , Ken Schrader , Boris Said , Kevin Harvick , Jeff Green , Mike Wallace , Ryan Newman , Chase Montgomery , Joe Ruttman , Billy Venturini , Dave Blaney , Tim Richmond , Mark Martin