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The Callahan Report: Bud Shootout Has A Different Format

6 February 1998

By Terry Callahan
The Auto Channel

DAYTONA BEACH: The Bud Shootout which will be run this Sunday at Daytona International Speedway, will have a new format for 1998. In the past, the race consisted of two short sprints of 10 laps each. The field was inverted after the first ten laps (last place started first for the final ten lap sprint).

For the race this Sunday, there will be no inversion. Instead, NASCAR has imposed a mandatory two-tire pit stop on the teams participating in the race. This will eliminate those running in the middle of the pack from "sandbagging" and dropping to the rear of the field.

The Shootout has been lengthened from 20 laps in 1997 to 25 laps this year.

Also, in the past the field was set prior to race day. Not so this year. Positions 1 through 16 are set. A qualifying race will be held before the shootout to fill the 17th and final position. The drivers running in the qualifying race will be those who were the fastest "second day" qualifiers during the 1997 NASCAR season. Fourteen drivers will participate in the qualifying race.

Jeff Gordon
Jeff Gordon
The winner of the qualifying race will get a chance to run with his NASCAR competitors in the Shootout, NASCAR's "teaser" race before the Daytona 500 on February 15.

Defending Winston Cup Champion, Jeff Gordon commented about the format change, saying "We kind of have myself and Dale Earnhardt to blame for the new format. We were battling for last place to be in that front row (for the restart)." Gordon continued, "But I really like the changes they've made. This is going to be one of the best races you'll see all year."

Top names entered in the qualifying race are: Sterling Marlin, Dale Earnhardt, and Darrell Waltrip. Earnhardt has won the Shootout (formerly the Busch Clash) six times.

Bud Shootout Lineup:

1. (6) Mark Martin, Batesville, Ark., Ford
2. (33) Ken Schrader, Fenton, Mo., Chevrolet
3. (31) Mike Skinner, Susanville, Calif., Chevrolet
4. (22) Ward Burton, South Boston, Va., Pontiac 
5. (24) Jeff Gordon, Pittsboro, Ind., Chevrolet 
6. (35) Todd Bodine, Chemung, N.Y., Pontiac 
7. (94) Bill Elliott, Dawsonville, Ga., Ford 
8. (7) Geoff Bodine, Chemung, N.Y., Ford 
9. (18) Bobby Labonte, Corpus Christi, Texas, Pontiac 
10. (42) Joe Nemechek, Lakeland, Fla., Chevrolet 
11. (26) Johnny Benson Jr., Grand Rapids, Mich., Ford 
12. (81) Kenny Wallace, St. Louis, Mo., Ford 
13. (2) Rusty Wallace, St. Louis, Mo., Ford 
14. (25) John Andretti, Indianapolis, Chevrolet 
15. (36) Ernie Irvan, Salinas, Calif., Pontiac 
16. (88) Dale Jarrett, Hickory, N.C., Ford 
17. Qualifying Race Winner
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