2010 Budweiser Shootout Race Preview and Pick to Win

Race: Budweiser Shootout
Date: Saturday February 6th, 2010
Track: Daytona International Speedway
Time: 8 pm ET
Channel: FOX

by Virginia Vroom of Predictem.com

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Gentleman, START YOUR ENGINES!!!! NASCAR officially comes back to our speedways and televisions this Saturday night as we begin the season with the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. This year is sure to be beyond exciting as new teams have been formed, drivers and teams have switched everything up, and NASCAR implemented several new rules changes during the off-season. As we head into the commencement of the 2010 NASCAR year, let’s take a look at how the Shootout has changed.

Essentially, the qualifications have changed, which is definitely a welcoming sight to those of us tired of seeing unqualified drivers picking up a spot in the Shootout for no apparent reason. What we are going to see this year are the following qualification requirements. The beauty of the change is that these qualifications apply to drivers who have raced in the Cup series at least once in the last 2 years, instead of a driver who has raced 1 race ten years ago. Here is how your driver will qualify to be part of the NASCAR season kick-off:

1. Drivers who are past Cup champions
2. Drivers who are past Shootout champions
3. Drivers who are Daytona points race winners
4. Driver who is reigning rookie of the year
5. Drivers that qualified for the 2009 Chase.

It’s nice to see that NASCAR is keeping up with the times a little bit more. Speaking of which, they decided to keep the format the same for once! It’s changed just a little bit each year over the past 4 or 5 years, so the stability is also a welcome change. Here’s how the race itself breaks down:

1 Starting positions determined by random draw on February 4th.
2. A total of 75 laps broken down into 2 segments (25 and 50 lap segments)
3. Caution laps count along with green-flag laps
4. 10 minute break between segments - Teams may change tires, make normal chassis adjustments, and add fuel.

Currently, here is a list of your Shootout eligible drivers:

John Andretti - July race winner
Greg Biffle - 2009 Chase
Geoff Bodine - Daytona 500, Shootout winner
Jeff Burton - July race winner
Kurt Busch - 2009 Chase
Kyle Busch - July race winner
Derrike Cope - Daytona 500 winner
Dale Earnhardt Jr. - Daytona 500, July race, Shootout winner
Carl Edwards - 2009 Chase
Bill Elliott - Series champion, Daytona 500, July race, Shootout winner
Jeff Gordon - 2009 Chase
Denny Hamlin - 2009 Chase
Kevin Harvick - Daytona 500, Shootout winner
Jimmie Johnson - 2009 Chase
Kasey Kahne - 2009 Chase
Matt Kenseth - Series champion, Daytona 500 winner
Bobby Labonte - Series champion
Terry Labonte - Series champion, Shootout winner
Joey Logano - Reigning Raybestos rookie of the year
Sterling Marlin - Daytona 500, July race winner
Mark Martin - 2009 Chase
Jamie McMurray - July race winner
Juan Montoya - 2009 Chase
Ryan Newman - 2009 Chase
Ken Schrader - Shootout winner
Tony Stewart - 2009 Chase
Brian Vickers - 2009 Chase
Michael Waltrip - Daytona 500, July race winner

This year is going to be full of surprises. For the start of the season and being Daytona, I am going to go with one of the best from last year. He impressed us as a first-time owner and drove his way to many victories. With that momentum, he could very well be a serious contender for that coveted title. Tony Stewart is my man for the Shootout. I think that he’s going to be up there with Jimmie and Jeff. This is sure to be a promising year for him.
We’ve yet to see if everyone will actually run the race, but stay tuned for the draw, which is going to be on SPEED on Thursday night this week. After the draw, get the recliners warm and the beers cold because NASCAR is officially back this Saturday night!

Virginia’s Pick: Take Tony Stewart to win and any head to head matchup where you’re not having to lay huge odds.