DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Michael Waltrip and the NAPA Racing team will kick off the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season on Saturday, Feb. 7 by competing in the 31st annual Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. Last night Waltrip entertained a live audience when he participated in the event’s qualifying-draw party. The driver pulled the number 17 flag from a Budweiser bottle which equated to his starting spot and it also was the car number his older brother Darrell ran when he won the 1989 Daytona 500.
“My draw obviously didn’t go well,” shrugged Waltrip. “I really enjoyed my time here and it was great to see all the fans that came to watch because it was cold out on the SPEED stage.”
Saturday night’s Budweiser Shootout will feature a star-studded lineup as well as a new format. The field will consist of the top six teams from each manufacturer based on the final 2008 owner points standings Eligibility is based on owners competing in the event with the same manufacturer as last season. In addition, each manufacturer will be able to enter a seventh car or "wild card" entry.
The criteria for the wild card entry are:
Among the drivers that will be competing against Waltrip include two-time and reigning Budweiser Shootout champion Dale Earnhardt Jr., three-time Daytona 500 winner Jeff Gordon, three-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, three-time Budweiser Shootout winner Tony Stewart, Waltrip’s teammate David Reutimann, Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin. A total of 28 drivers will make up the field.
Drawing the pole position was Paul Menard. Reutimann and his No. 00 Aaron’s Dream MachineToyota Camry will line up 22nd.
The new format boasts a longer distance going from 70 to 75 laps (187.5 miles) on the 2.5-mile tri-oval. The race will have two segments of 25 and 50 laps. Both green- and yellow-flag laps will count. Between segments, there will be a 10-minute pit stop at which time teams will pit and may elect to change tires, add fuel and make normal chassis adjustments.
“I am really looking forward to racing my car in the Shootout on Saturday night,” said Waltrip. “It is a great opportunity for the NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota to show off a little bit. I love Daytona.”
The Budweiser Shootout will get underway at 8 p.m. ET and will air on FOX television network and the MRN and Sirius XM Satellite Radio networks.
Budweiser Shootout | Daytona International Speedway
February 7, 2009 | Exhibition
|1||98||Paul Menard||Ford||Quaker State / Menards|
|2||19||Elliott Sadler||Dodge||Stanley Tools|
|4||82||Scott Speed*||Toyota||Red Bull|
|5||11||Denny Hamlin||Toyota||FedEx Express|
|6||14||Tony Stewart||Chevrolet||Old Spice / Office Depot|
|7||83||Brian Vickers||Toyota||Red Bull|
|9||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||National Guard / Amp Energy|
|12||2||Kurt Busch||Dodge||Miller Lite|
|13||7||Robby Gordon||Dodge||Jim Beam|
|15||26||Jamie McMurray||Ford||Crown Royal|
|19||20||Joey Logano*||Toyota||The Home Depot|
|20||12||David Stremme||Dodge||Penske Racing|
|22||00||David Reutimann||Toyota||Aaron's Dream Machine|
|24||07||Casey Mears||Chevrolet||Jack Daniel's|
|27||29||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet||Shell / Pennzoil|