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Tony Stewart will be in the Bud Shootout after all, with Friday's rules changes

By Mike Mulhern

     NASCAR is adding four more drivers to the Feb. 7th Bud Shootout, the kickoff sprint for Daytona's SpeedWeeks, making a field of 28.
    Each manufacturer will now have a wild-card entry in the 75-lap all-star that Saturday night.
    As announced last August, the star-studded lineup will consist of the top six teams from each manufacturer, based on the final 2008 car owner points. Eligibility is based on owners competing in this event with the same manufacturer as 2008. The new wrinkle calls for each manufacturer to be able to enter a seventh car, based on the following criteria:
   Any owner outside of the top six in year end 2008 owners' points whose driver is a past NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion that attempted to qualify for all of the 2008 events (only one position will be filled per manufacturer and will be based on the most recent past champion per manufacturer).  That now puts Tony Stewart in the field.
   If an owner/manufacturer does not have a past champion driver, the next highest eligible owner outside the top six in year end 2008 owners’ points from each manufacturer will be eligible to compete in the event.
   However Ryan Newman, Stewart's Chevy teammate after moving over from Roger Penske's Dodge team, will apparently not be in the field, even though he won last year's Daytona 500. NASCAR and Daytona officials said that the other three now eligible teams are George Gillett's Dodge No. 10, which was last driven at Homestead by AJ Allmendinger; Bill Davis' Toyota No. 22, which was last driven by Dave Blaney; and Doug Yates' No. 38, which was last driven by David Gilliland. However Davis has sold his team, and Yates just signed former champion Bobby Labonte.
   Labonte presumably could use Gilliland's points to get in the Shootout, depending on how lenient NASCAR is with such points swapping. If the former Davis team, now partly owned by Marty Gaunt, doesn't field an entry, the next owner-driver on the list would be Scott Speed.
    The men already in the Shootout: Chevrolet men Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Casey Mears, Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Ford's Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, David Ragan, Jamie McMurray and Travis Kvapil. Toyota's Denny Hamlin, rookie Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Brian Vickers, Michael Waltrip and David Reutimann. Dodge men Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Elliott Sadler, Robby Gordon (who would have to compete with Dodge decals, though he has officially switched to Toyota), David Stremme, and whoever winds up in George Gillett's No. 43.
    The race will have two segments, of 25 and 50 laps. Both green- and yellow-flag laps will count. Between segments, there will be a 10-minute pit stop at which time teams will pit and may elect to change tires, add fuel and make normal chassis adjustments.
   Starting positions will be determined by a draw Thursday night Feb. 5.

Mike happy to find your site

Mike happy to find your site and see your are still writing NASCAR. Even though you are usually kind of hard om my driver, Dale Junior I do like your articles.


thanks....actually we try to

thanks....actually we try to be hard on everyone. Junior is doing a good job, a really good job.....but I still think he should have taken that ride with Richard Childress instead of Rick Hendrick. Of course I also think that Teresa should have sold DEI to Junior.....What do you think?

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