The start to the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is only days away with the 34th running of the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona on Saturday, February 18. Dating back to the first event in 1979, the Budweiser Shootout has featured some of the sport’s greatest drivers and provided a number of thrilling finishes.
Historical Facts & Information
· The very first Budweiser Shootout at Daytona took place on Feb. 11, 1979, and was a 20-lap race with no scheduled breaks.
· Nine drivers participated in the inaugural event and Buddy Baker scored the win, edging out Darrell Waltrip by one car length to take the checkered flag.
· Utilizing the format established in 2009, the Budweiser Shootout is currently a 75-lap race that features a 10-minute break after the first 25 laps.
· Kurt Busch is the defending Budweiser Shootout champion. Busch scored the win by making a last-lap pass on the dueling duo of Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin. While Busch went to the outside to make his move, Hamlin dropped below Newman in an effort to go for the win. After a review of the final lap, NASCAR determined Hamlin went below the yellow line in trying to pass Newman, which was a violation of the rulebook. Busch was then scored as the race winner, becoming the 19th different driver to score a victory in the Budweiser Shootout.
· The margin of victory in last year’s race was a mere 0.058 seconds, setting a new record for the closest finish in the history of the Budweiser Shootout.
By the NUMBERS
1 Dodge scored its first and only win in the Budweiser Shootout in 2011.
5 Five drivers have earned Budweiser Shootout victories after leading only the final lap of the race. Dale Earnhardt was the first to steal the win with a last-lap pass in 1980. Neil Bonnett managed the same feat two years in a row in 1983 and 1984. Rusty Wallace (1998), Dale Jarrett (2004) and most recently Kevin Harvick (2009) also earned Budweiser Shootout wins by leading only the checkered flag lap.
14 In 2009, a total of 14 different drivers led a lap in the Budweiser Shootout, setting an event record for most different leaders in a single race.
19 The manufacturer with the most Budweiser Shootout wins is Chevrolet with a whopping 19 trips to Victory Lane.
28 The record for number of lead changes during the race is 28, set in last year’s event.
47 En route to his 2008 Budweiser Shootout win, Dale Earnhardt Jr. led seven times for a total of 47 laps, setting the record for most laps led in a single race.
88 The No. 88 entry has gone to Victory Lane five times with three different drivers in the Budweiser Shootout. Bobby Allison first won in the No. 88 entry in 1982. Dale Jarrett picked up victories in 1996, 2000 and 2004, and most recently, Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove the No. 88 car to Victory Lane in the event in 2008. The only other car number that’s earned as many wins is the No. 3 entry Dale Earnhardt drove to Victory Lane five times in the Budweiser Shootout (1986, 1988, 1991, 1993 and 1995).