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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.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, qualified for twelfth position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. After a three-race absence, Tony Stewart has returned to the track at Atlanta. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, qualified for third position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Larson is 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Tony Stewart at Dover International Speedway on May 30 2014. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR Media)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished fifth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, finished fourth and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, finished twelfth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Doublemint Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 STP Ford, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, are involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 ENEOS Chevrolet, is involved in an incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualified for seventh position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Busch is 23rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, and the rest of the field during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, Justin Allgaier, driver of the #51 Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, and Michael Annett, driver of the #7 Allstate Peterbilt/Pilot Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field at the start of the Nationwide Childrens`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Regan Smith prepares to stand in for Tony Stewart at short notice at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Stewart-Haas vice-president Greg Ziparelli addresses the media at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Nelson Piquet Jr., driver of the #77 WORX Ford, prepares his equipment in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International on August 8, 2014 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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