By admin | February 11, 2011
By Richard Allen
As anyone who visits this site very often may know, I am typically a traditionalist. More often than not, I tend to take the side of keeping the sport of NASCAR racing as pure and true to its roots as possible. However, in the case of All Star races such as the Bud Shootout at the Daytona International Speedway, I do not see the need for rigidity.
All Star races are exhibitions, no more and no less. The integrity of the sport is not damaged if two races a year alter their formats or change up the way drivers are selected.
Years ago, I remember a time in which NASCAR had announced some change to ‘The Winston’. Bobby Allison was asked how he felt about the change and he remarked something to the effect that as long as they did not have half the field going one way around the track and the other half of the field going the other way it didn’t much matter.
This year’s Bud Shootout has been the subject of much discussion in regard to the selection of drivers who were eligible to compete. Basically, it looks as if the organizers of this race wanted to include as many drivers as possible. It essentially looks like any racer who might have the ability to attract fans and interest was invited to participate.
Although it should be noted that Brad Keselowski was not included in the Bud Shootout. He is sponsored by Miller Lite.
Does it really matter how drivers got into the Bud Shootout?
In the years that Anheuser-Busch, once the parent company of Budweiser, used to sponsor NASCAR’s pole position qualifying the race was limited to drivers who had been the fastest qualifier in the previous season and former winners of the event. Now that Coors has taken over sponsorship of pole qualifying, Budweiser wanted to distance this race from that criteria for selection.
It would seem to me the most important aspect of this event is that there are cars and drivers on the track competing for a win, no matter how they got there. At the same time, this race serves as somewhat of a glorified practice for the Daytona 500, especially in this time when the track has just been freshly paved.
So why the need for exclusion?
The more cars, the better the racing. That is especially true of restrictor plate tracks like Daytona. And more, the more to participate in this race, the better the competition should be in the race that actually does matter, even though most teams do not use their primary cars in this event.
So don’t worry about what driver got in the race and whether they deserve to be there or not. Just sit back and enjoy the Bud Shootout by rooting for your favorite driver, because most likely, he is in the race(unless he is sponsored by a competing brewery).
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