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Does it really matter how drivers got into the Bud Shootout?

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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6 Responses to “Does it really matter how drivers got into the Bud Shootout?”

  1. madhat Says:
    February 12th, 2011 at 8:40 am

    I would root for my favorite driver if he had made it. My guy David Reutimann won a race last year (something Gordon or Earnhardt didn’t do), but wasn’t good enough to make the show. Good thing though, I can watch Derrick Cope, Micheal Waltrip, Kevin Conway, Regan Smith, Joey Logano and Bobby Labonte because they are more deserving of being in an all star race. I think I’ll take the night off.

  2. Charles Says:
    February 12th, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I am mostly a traditionist as well, Richard and I really dont like the idea of shortening races!

    But I think a new format to the 150 Duel Races would be of help!

    I would like to see them shorten them to 75 or 100 miles each, package it to fit and show them on ‘PRIME TIME’ TV on a Saturday night live in place of the Bud Shootout!

    Then take the Bud Shootout and move it to Prime Time on a Wednesday or mid week before the Daytona 500!

    I mean Daytona is the only race who has a qualifying format in that you have to ‘race in” taking it and creating a more exciting event might be worth a try! Being everything else seem to fail!!!

  3. Keith Says:
    February 12th, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Since practice speeds might mean something next season because of weather problems maybe the critera should be if you have the fastest time during happy hour at any race you are in the shootout.

  4. Tom Says:
    February 12th, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    first off this race was for pole winners and shootout winners as a prize for achievments when winning the pole meant something.
    the whole race is nothing but a circus show now.
    count me out.

    second, not wishing to argue but, only positions 36 to 42 “race in”. Everybody else is guaranteed a starting spot so that makes the duals irrelevant.
    4 drivers are starting the 500 this year (locked in) while they only have two cup races ever run among them.

    In the cup series, I want to see good hard racing by experienced drivers, not rookies. Oops, that’s right there hasn’t been a real rookie race for the last three years.
    All this change is for the better according to the France family and writers like this, so who am I to say.

  5. Charles Says:
    February 13th, 2011 at 8:09 am


    What I meant by “racing in” was the qualifying order except the front row will be determined by how they finish in the Duel Races!

    If you are going to have a Duel Race, seems Thursday at noon is not a great date for TV or fans!

    I totally agree with you about how the Bud Shootout was suppose to be for only pole winners! An now they change the format!

    As for the Chase, I am wondering how many fans at Daytona because of the simplier point system or who is winning the Chase!!!!!!!

  6. dave in ohio Says:
    February 13th, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    yeah, it matters. a no account nobody who never won anything like Kevin Conway had absolutely no business being on the track Saturday night. He made me cringe everytime the rest of the cars went freight training by as he got lapped yet again. Scary stuff.

    And it is not really even his fault. Na$car added the 10 year roty rule this year to get in some big money sponsors like home depot and target some tv time, and Conway got sucked in on that misbegotten rule.

    Wake up Na$car, a race for winners ought to only include winners.

    Dave in Ohio