Updated Sunday, February 19th at 11:47AM:
SB Nation’s Jeff Gluck just tweeted that International Speedway Corportation spokesmen told Gluck that Budweiser has a contract up til 2015 and is going to remain the title sponsor for the Shootout.
Original Post on February 19th:
This morning, NASCAR issued a press release to all media members stating that they are going to return to the old-school style of racing for the Budweiser Shootout.
Several Reporters and Bloggers had plenty to say regarding the press release that was released this morning by NASCAR that has caused some speculation between bloggers, and fans about the future of Budweiser’s sponsorship of the event.
Interesting wording on the 2013 Shootout eligibility press release. Budweiser isn’t mentioned on the press relase. Only Coors Light.
Its very interesting to me because I’ve read that Budweiser has an agreement in place for the next several years (since the announcement was made last year). However, I feel that Budweiser isn’t going to drop their sponsorship. They make alot of money from this event, and I don’t feel that they are going to drop out when the Shootout has turned into an exciting preseason race (in which is exciting).
Below is the official press release released by NASCAR.
Shootout Eligibility Returns To Its Roots For 2013
2012 Pole Winners, Past Event Winners Will Make Field
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 19, 2012) – NASCAR today released the eligibility requirements for the 2013 Shootout at Daytona, an announcement that signals a return to the fan-favorite preseason event’s roots.
Next season’s field will consist of 2012 Coors Light Pole winners and past Shootout winners who have attempted to qualify for at least one race during the 2012 season.
Eligibility rules for next season’s annual non-points race mirror those from 1979-2008, and puts greater emphasis on each weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole qualifying session.
“Fans have expressed their desire to see this event return to its original eligibility rules,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “We listened and decided it would be best to return to the eligibility rules of years past adding further meaning to pole qualifying for each NASCAR Sprint Cup race.”
This announcement comes prior to 2012’s first qualifying session, adding intrigue to an already important event. Today’s fastest qualifier, in addition to winning the pole for next Sunday’s 54th Annual Daytona 500 (Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. on FOX), will also earn a spot in next year’s Shootout. Two Daytona 500 starting positions will be locked in after today’s qualifying session. The fastest two cars in qualifying will sit on the front row for The Great American Race.
Last night, Kyle Busch won his first Shootout at Daytona, locking up a spot in next year’s field. Busch passed defending series champion Tony Stewart in the tri-oval, edging the three-time titlist by a margin of victory of .013 seconds – the closest in Shootout history.
Last season, 18 different drivers won a pole.