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Truex Jr. on pole for Budweiser Shootout

Martin Truex Jr. will start from pole position for Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout exhibition race, after drawing the top spot in a blind draw on Friday evening.
Martin Truex Jr. will start from pole alongside Kyle Busch on the front row of the grid for the 34th Budweiser Shootout, after coming up triumphant in Friday night's blind draw setting the starting order for the first event of the 2012 Daytona Speedweeks.

"I had a plan, and I stuck to it," said Truex after selecting the remaining bottle on the furthest right of the stage as he viewed it, which had the grid position concealed on it. He was among the last of the drivers to make his selection.

Meanwhile Kyle Busch will need to hope that his car can be repaired after the Friday practice crash sparked off by contact between Tony Stewart and Kyle's brother Kurt. The #18 was damaged in the aftermath of the car, and Kyle's attempts to break in the back-up car in the second session were thwarted by rain. If the primary car isn't fixed in time for Saturday night's Shootout, Kyle could end up starting from the rear of the field instead of the front.

Brad Keselowski (who drew third position), Kurt Busch (sixth) and AJ Allmendinger (ninth) face a similar situation after the practice accident.

The Budweiser Shootout is a non-championship curtain raiser to the 2012 NASCAR season. The top 25 drivers from the 2011 drivers points standings are eligible to drive, but Mark Martin has not included the event in his partial 2012 season and Brian Vickers does not have a Cup ride for this year. Also eligible are past Daytona Cup race winners Jamie McMurray and Michael Waltrip.

The Shootout event consists of an initial 25-lap first segment followed by a ten minute break for pit crews to change tyres, add fuel and make the usual round of chassis adjustments, after which follows a second 50-lap segment to make for a complete event distance of 75 laps of the 2.5-mile tri-oval. Laps under caution still count toward the race distance.

Saturday also sees the first two practice sessions for next weekend's Daytona 500, with qualifying taking place on the afternoon of Sunday February 19. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Gatorade Duel is scheduled for Thursday evening, with the first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series of 2012 set for Friday evening and the opening Nationwide Series race of the year taking place on Saturday afternoon.

Budweiser Shootout starting grid

1. #56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota Michael Waltrip Racing
2. #18 Kyle Busch Toyota Joe Gibbs Racing
3. #2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Penske Racing
4. #1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Earnhardt Ganassi Racing
5. #34 David Ragan Ford Front Row Motorsports
6. #51 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Phoenix Racing
7. #16 Greg Biffle Ford Roush Fenway Racing
8. #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports
9. #22 AJ Allmendinger Dodge Penske Racing
10. #20 Joey Logano Toyota Joe Gibbs Racing
11. #99 Carl Edwards Ford Roush Fenway Racing
12. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Richard Childress Racing
13. #39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Stewart-Haas Racing
14. #24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports
15. #14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Stewart-Haas Racing
16. #11 Denny Hamlin Toyota Joe Gibbs Racing
17. #15 Clint Bowyer Toyota Michael Waltrip Racing
18. #48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports
19. #5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports
20. #55 Michael Waltrip Toyota Michael Waltrip Racing
21. #9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Richard Petty Motorsports
22. #29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Richard Childress Racing
23. #17 Matt Kenseth Ford Roush Fenway Racing
24. #27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Richard Childress Racing
25. #42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Earnhardt Ganassi Racing



Related Pictures

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Martin Truex Jr. celebrates picking the pole for the Budweiser Shootout with SPEED host and driver Kenny Wallace on Friday at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Danica Patrick alongside the #10 GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing on pit road at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images)
Danica Patrick driving the #10 GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Smithfield Ford, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Halloween Toyota, are involved in an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Crew members work on the Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Halloween Toyota, in the garage area during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 19, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch. August 20 2014. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Timothy Peters, driver of the #17 Red Horse Racing Toyota, hugs Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Fred`s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Mason Mingus, driver of the #15 811 Call Before You Dig Chevrolet, Korbin Forrister, driver of the #07 McNair McLemore Midlebrooks & Co LLC Chevrolet, Ron Hornaday Jr., driver of the #9 Armour Vienna Sausage/Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, and Ryan Sieg, driver of the #39 Pull-A-Part Used Auto Parta Chevrolet, are involved in an on track incident during the NASCAR Camping World Series Fred`s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola at Talladega Superspeedway on October 18, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, drives during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Fred`s 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 17, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Halloween Toyota, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 17, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch in the Joe Gibbs Racing garage at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 29 2014. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Doublemint Toyota, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 11, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #24 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS qualified for ninth position Thursday, October 9, 2014 for Saturday night`s Contender 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Earnhardt Jr., who is in the Chase, is eleventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Doublemint Toyota, poses with the Coors Lite Pole Award after qualifying for the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 9, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr. gets ready in his office at Road America. June 20 2014. (Photo Credit:  Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr. gets himself ready for testing. May 6 2014. (Photo Credit: Jennifer Coleman for NASCAR)
Sam Hornish Jr. at Chicagoland. July 18 2014. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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