Paul Menard Selects Top-Starting Spot for the Budweiser Shootout ST. LOUIS (February 5, 2008) ----- Paul Menard is the man that will lead the 28-car field to the green flag in the annual Budweiser Shootout at Daytona this Saturday night at...
Paul Menard Selects Top-Starting Spot for the Budweiser Shootout
ST. LOUIS (February 5, 2008) ----- Paul Menard is the man that will lead the 28-car field to the green flag in the annual Budweiser Shootout at Daytona this Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway. Menard secured the top starting spot through the random draw that took place on Thursday night at the Speed Stage. Elliott Sadler will join Menard on the front row after selecting the second-place starting position.
With 28 cars participating, the 31st running of the Budweiser Shootout features the largest starting field in Shootout history. The starting lineup was determined at the annual Draw Party on Thursday night during which the participating drivers selected a Budweiser bottle containing a numbered flag. The number serves as the driver's starting position.
Menard was among the last drivers to make their selection. While he looks at the Shootout as an opportunity to get more track time, he is thrilled to be leading the starting field to the green flag.
"That's pretty cool," Menard said. "By the time I drew there were about four numbers at the front and three back near 17th and 18th so I felt like I had a pretty good shot at getting a good starting position."
Menard started from the top spot at Daytona International Speedway in July so he has some recent experience from which to draw when taking the green flag on Saturday night.
"When we started on the pole in July I was able to get a good clean start," Menard said. "That's what I want to do Saturday night -- get a good, clean start and then protect the bottom and let them line up behind me. Hopefully we can hold them off."
This weekend's Budweiser Shootout marks Menard's first start in the annual season opener. While Saturday is Menard's first start in the Shootout, it is Sadler's fourth start in the event and the only thing he is interested in is the win.
"That's a good place to start," Sadler said after selecting the second-starting position. "I just love being a part of the Budweiser Shootout. This is a fun race to be a part of because it's all about the win and you can go all out. So we're going to keep pushing until it's over."
The 31st Budweiser Shootout at Daytona is scheduled for an 8:10 p.m. EST start this Saturday. FOX will provide live television coverage of the event beginning with their pre-race show that will start at 8 p.m. EST.