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NASCAR resets on Shootout eligibility

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – After several years of various eligibility rules, the 2013 Budweiser Shootout will return to a tried-and-true format.

Next year, the 75-lap non-points event at Daytona International Speedway and unofficial start to NASCAR season will include drivers who won poles from the previous season as well as former winners of the event.

That was the eligibility format used for the race from 1979 through 2008.

“Fans have expressed their desire to see this event return to its original eligibility rules,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations.

“We listened and decided it would be best to return to the eligibility rules of years past adding further meaning to pole qualifying for each NASCAR Sprint Cup race.”

Should the winner of this season's pole for the Daytona 500 not already have a Shootout victory, that driver will become the next entry in next season's Shootout.

Saturday night, Kyle Busch won his first Shootout, locking him in the race next year as a past winner.

Last season, 18 different drivers won a pole in the Cup series.

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