I have been saying how “change is coming, change is coming”!! Well, here is one more change to digest this season. The Bud Shootout format has completely changed for 2009. In the past, the Bud Shootout was defined as the winners of the previous seasons races and the past winners of the Bud Shootout. Well NASCAR, in their infinite wisdom, has decided that the new format is going to pit the top six in OWNER’S POINTS from each manufacturer plus a wild card car from each manufacturer. That is a total of 28 cars racing for the money.
Another change to the Bud Shootout is to increase the race length from 70 laps to 75 laps. That is, the first segment will consist of a 25 lap race with a 10 minute break. In that break crews can do all the things that can be accompolished in a regular pit stop. However, no springs, shocks, nor rear end changes are allowed. Then a restart and a 50 lap race to the checkered flag!! Starting positions for the Bud Shootout will be determined by a blind draw as usual.
The drivers in the 2009 Bud Shootout are:
#48 Jimmie Johnson
#29 Kevin Harvick
#07 Casey Mears
#31 Jeff Burton
#24 Jeff Gordon
#88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
#14 Tony (The Smoker) Stewart (Chevy Wild Card)
#9 Kasey Kahne
#12 David Stremme
#2 Kurt Busch
#19 Elliott Sadler
#7 Robby Gordon (Dodge for Shootout)
#44 A.J. Allmendinger (Dodge Wild Card)
#99 Carl Edwards
#16 Greg Bifle
#17 Matt Kenseth
#6 David Ragan
#22 Jamie McMurray
#98 Paul Menard ( Ford Wild Card)
#11 Denny Hamlin
#20 Joey Logano (formally The Smoker’s ride)
#18 Kyle Busch (TLVW) (the las vegas weasel)
#00 David Reutimann (#44 points)
#83 Brian Vickers
#55 Michael Waltrip ( Toyota Wild Card)
2008 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. …………$215,000.00
2007 Tony Stewart………………….$215,000.00
2006 Denny Hamlin…………………$213,380.00
2005 Jimmie Johnson……………..$219,945.00
2004 Dale Jarrett…………………….$213,000.00
2003 Dale Earnhardt, Jr……………$205,000.00
2002 Tony Stewart…………………..$200,955.00
2001 Tony Stewart…………………..$202,722.00
2000 Dale Jarrett…………………….$115,000.00
Five times has the winner of the Bud Shootout gone on to win the Daytona 500, Dale Jarrett (1996 & 2000), Jeff Gordon (1997), Bill Elliott (1987), and Bobby Allison (1982). Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finished second in the 2004 Bud Shootout, won the Daytona 500 the following week (2004).
There were seven drivers who won the Daytona 500 that did not compete in the Bud Shootout the week before. Those drivers are Michael Waltrip (2001,2003), Ward Burton (2002),Dale Earnhardt, Sr. (1998), Sterling Marlin (19940, Dale Jarrett (1993), Derrrike Cope (1990) and Richard Petty (1979). Drivers who did not compete in the Bud Shootout the week before the Daytona 500 have won three of the last four Daytona 500’s!
It is this reporter’s opinion that the change in format rewards only the manufacturer, not the driver for his hard work the previous season! It is a change that appears to be ill conceived!! The Bud Shootout, like The All Star Race, was a race for the drivers and the fans. On first look, the new format for the Bud Shootout appears to be first and foremost a “manufacturer’s race”. NASCAR needs to come to their senses and change this format back to its origins for the 2010 season!!
Your comments on this format change is invited!!!!
REMEMBER , I LOOKED IT UP SO THAT YOU WOULDN’T HAVE TO!!!!