February 13, 2011

Bud Shootout 2011

We are still less than a week removed from the end of the NFL season, and Opening Day for the 2011 Major League Baseball Season is still many weeks away.

But not all hope is lost, sports fans. Today is, after all, the unofficial start to the 2011 NASCAR season, as 24 of the best drivers in the world have gathered at Daytona International Speedway for the Budweiser Shootout.

In addition to being a sort of unofficial kick off party, the Shootout is also a overture to the Daytona 500, which of course is scheduled for next weekend. For now, there are plenty of interesting storylines to keep an eye on. First and foremost is how the two dozen drivers will handle brand new surface at the Speedway. It's considerably smoother than the old track, which was more kindred to a dirt path than any kind of professional racing surface.

The race's format is simple enough 75 total laps with a 25 laps opening segment followed by a 50 laps race to the finish. The winner gets no championship purse, a huge cash prize.

But let's not kid ourselves. The biggest reason to tune in is just for the wallet fun factor. This was definitely the name of the game in last night's lineup selection special. And as luck would have it, fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. drew the pole, with Tony Stewart will start alongside him at the second position.

Starting at third will be Carl Edwards, and going fourth will be...

  1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  2. Tony Stewart
  3. Carl Edwards
  4. Denny Hamlin
  5. Kasey Kahne
  6. Bobby Labonte
  7. Clint Bowyer
  8. Ryan Newman
  9. Derrike Cope
  10. Michael Waltrip
  11. Greg Biffle
  12. Jeff Gordon
  13. Juan Pablo Montoya
  14. Jamie McMurray
  15. Jeff Burton
  16. Kevin Conway
  17. Kurt Busch
  18. Kevin Harvick
  19. Matt Kenseth
  20. Mark Martin
  21. Kyle Busch
  22. Joey Logano
  23. Jimmie Johnson
  24. Regan Smith

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