For the second consecutive year, the criteria for entry into the Budweiser Shootout has changed.
NASCAR announced the revisions prior to Christmas for the annual non-points race for Sprint Cup teams at Daytona International Speedway.
Drivers meeting any of the following criteria are eligible for the race, which comes ahead of the Daytona 500:
• Qualified for the 2009 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
• Past Cup champion.
• Past Budweiser Shootout winner.
• Past Cup winner at Daytona.
• The reigning Raybestos Rookie of the Year.
“We're always looking at ways to make this event bigger and better for our fans, and we believe the new format for the Budweiser Shootout puts together an exceptionally strong lineup of our top drivers,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition.
For 2010, eligible drivers will be Chase competitors Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Juan Pablo Montoya, Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards and Brian Vickers; past Daytona winners John Andretti, Geoff Bodine, Jeff Burton, Kyle Busch, Derrike Cope, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Bill Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Sterling Marlin, Jamie McMurray and Michael Waltrip; past Shootout winner Ken Schrader; past series champions Bobby and Terry Labonte; and reigning Raybestos Rookie of the Year Joey Logano.
“In our discussions with the track,” Pemberton said, “we thought by placing an additional emphasis on the drivers who had performed well at Daytona over the years would create an even more compelling element for the fans to get excited about at the beginning of the season.”
The race distance remains 75 laps in segments of 25 and 50 laps. Both green-flag laps and caution laps will count. Between segments there will be a 10-minute pit stop allowing teams to pit and change tyres, add fuel and make normal chassis adjustments.
Starting positions again will be determined by a blind draw.
Harvick is the defending winner of the Shootout.