Kurt Busch in Budweiser Shootout

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Sept. 4, 2001) -- Kurt Busch added his name to the growing list of eligible Budweiser Shootout drivers when he won the Bud Pole for last weekend's Mountian Dew Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. The Raybestos...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Sept. 4, 2001) -- Kurt Busch added his name to the growing list of eligible Budweiser Shootout drivers when he won the Bud Pole for last weekend's Mountian Dew Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

The Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate turned a fast lap of 168.048 mph on the famed 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval. It was Busch's first career Winston Cup Bud Pole and it qualifies him for the Feb. 10 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway.

The driver of the No. 97 Sharpie/Rubbermaid Ford for Roush Racing now becomes the 20th driver qualified to date for the Budweiser Shootout, which kicks off the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season.

"It's wonderful to be a part of the Budweiser Shootout," Busch said. "To put together a lap here at Darlington, I never thought that would happen, but it now gives us that opportunity to showcase our car at a speedway race with a restrictor plate.

"(The Budweiser Shootout) is a race where you've got the best of the best. That's something that I've always looked forward to be a part of. I had no idea it would happen so soon. I watched that race from pit road last year with (my teammate) Jeff Burton in the race. To see all those guys out there, it gave me that feeling that this is the best of the best and now I get to actually participate with them."

If all 20 drivers choose to participate in the 2002 Budweiser Shootout, 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.

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 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

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)

-spr

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