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Fans to choose format for first event of 2013

Other aspects of the event that will be open to fan input for those attending the race include the selection of the grand marshal, the honorary starter and trophy presenter, and fans also will have a role in driver introductions.

“Sprint has been a great partner for the sport and I applaud them for developing new and innovative ways to give the race fans an unprecedented role in The Sprint Unlimited,” added Joie Chitwood III, president of Daytona International Speedway. “We have some of the most passionate and knowledgeable fans in sports and I'm looking forward to seeing the choices they make and how it will impact this exciting star-studded event.”

Several big names will be missing from this year's line-up including the two drivers who finished in first and second place in the Sprint Cup championship last season, Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer. Neither driver claimed a pole position in 2012, and nor are they past winners of the old Budweiser Shootout.

Instead, the the Sprint Unlimited will see last year's race winner Kyle Busch defending his title against the likes of Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Martin Truex Jr., Tony Stewart, Aric Almirola, Joey Logano, Marcos Ambrose, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Juan Montoya.

AJ Allmendinger is also eligible to enter the race, but it seems unlikely that small independent team Phoenix Racing - with whom Allmendinger is expected to compete in several early Cup races in 2013 - will be able to provide a car for him to take up that spot.

Past winners of the event who are also still eligible to take a spot include Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Bill Elliott, Terry Labonte and Ken Schrader. In total, the field could consist of as many as 22 drivers on the night.




Related Pictures

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Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Brown Toyota, edges out Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet, to win the NASCAR Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Brown Toyota, crashes during the NASCAR Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, looks on in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Pack racing returns in the 2012 Budwesier Shootout. [Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Drivers are introduced prior to the start of the NASCAR Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/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)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS, qualified for fourth position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. Newman is 9th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (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)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, won the Pole position Friday, August 29, 2014 for Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. It was Harvick`s sixth pole win of the 2014 season. He is 7th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 29, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick (L), driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, talks to Regan Smith, driver of the #7 TaxSlayer Bowl Chevrolet, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 29, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Serta/Menards Chevrolet SS, finished ninth and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Great Stuff Chevrolet SS, finished 28th Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS, finished eighth and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS, finished 35th 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)
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)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and his team celebrate in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning 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)

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andrew2k

January 23, 2013 2:48 PM

This is nice and all, but to be honest NASCAR really need to do more to keep fans like myself interested, and its a must seeing how thier tv ratings are dropping and the fact empty seats are becoming the new norm.



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