Shootout List Announced, Several Pole Winners Out

With exactly one and a half month to go until the Budweiser Shootout – unofficial green flag of the 2009 Sprint Cup Series – NASCAR has already chosen most of its participants in the February exhibition event. However, the rules by which some NASCAR drivers will not be present at Daytona remain controversial to most fans.

First of all, as announced by the NASCAR officials in March 2008, next year's shootout will not benefit from the presence of all Bud Pole Award winners throughout 2008, but only the ones competing for the Top 6 teams in the 2008 Owner points.

For starters, that leaves Paul Newman (Phoenix pole winner), Joe Nemechek (Talladega pole winner), Patrick Carpentier (New Hampshire pole winner), Paul Menard (Daytona pole winner) out of the 2009 Budweiser Shootout. However, teams like Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing Roush Fenway Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Penske Racing and Gillett Evernham Motorsports will have at least 3 drivers lined up for the Shootout.

In the old format, the competitors for the Budweiser Shootout were chosen based on their performances in the qualifying sessions of the past season. Therefore, every Bud Pole Award winner would have gotten the chance to be present at the Shootout, together with the former winners of the event that did not score a pole the previous season but did finish the series inside the overall Top 50.

Under the current rules, here is the pack of drivers aligned for the first edition of the newly-revised Budweiser Shootout:

Chevrolet: Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon (Hendrick Motorsports), Kevin Harvick, Casey Mears, Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer (Richard Childress Racing)

Dodge: David Stremme, Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch (Penske Racing), Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler and Reed Sorenson (Gillett Evernham Motorsports) and a potential entry by the Petty Enterprises.

Ford: Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, David Ragan, Jamie McMurray (Roush Fenway Racing) and Travis Kvapil (Yates Racing)

Toyota: Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart (Joe Gibbs Racing), Brian Vickers (Red Bull Racing Team), David Reutimann and Michael Waltrip (Michael Waltrip Racing).
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