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Keeping Pace

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Selects Top-Starting Spot for the Budweiser Shootout

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had one of the strongest cars in two practices sessions held Friday evening in preparation for the 33rd Annual Budweiser Shootout being held at Daytona International Speedway tonight.

Courtesy: NASCAR Media Relations

DAYTONA BEACH (February 11, 2011) –— Two-time Budweiser Shootout winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. will lead the 24-car field to the green flag in the 33rd annual Budweiser Shootout at Daytona this Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway. Earnhardt secured the top starting position through the random selection process that took place on Thursday night at the SPEED Stage.
The starting lineup was determined at the annual Budweiser Shootout Draw Party on Friday night during which the participating drivers selected a Budweiser bottle featuring a number behind the Budweiser label. The number serves as the driver’s starting position.
Earnhardt was the 14th driver to participate in the annual draw party. Earnhardt will make his 11th start in the Budweiser Shootout on Saturday night and is a two-time winner having scored victories in the annual event in 2003 and 2008.
“I had several bottles to choose from still so it really was just the luck of the draw,” Earnhardt said in reference to making the decision to select the pole-winning bottle.
“The race really can be won from any position so this really doesn’t change our strategy,” Earnhardt added.
                The defending winner of the Budweiser Shootout and new driver of the Budweiser car, Kevin Harvick is attempting to score his third-consecutive Budweiser Shootout victory. Harvick won the 2009 and 2010 editions of the race and will have his work cut out for him Saturday night as he starts from the 18th position.
                “It’s kind of like winning the home game with the Budweiser Shootout and Budweiser being on the car,” Harvick said of his new sponsor. “The Shootout has been good to us the last couple of years so hopefully we’ll make it three.”
The 33rd annual Budweiser Shootout at Daytona is scheduled for an 8:10 p.m. EST start this Saturday. FOX will provide live television coverage of the event beginning with their pre-race show that will start at 8 p.m. EST.
33rd Annual Budweiser Shootout at Daytona
Saturday, February 12, 2011 at 8:10 p.m. EST
Starting Lineup
  1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  2. Tony Stewart
  3. Carl Edwards
  4. Denny Hamlin
  5. Kasey Kahne
  6. Bobby Labonte
  7. Clint Bowyer
  8. Ryan Newman
  9. Derrike Cope
  10. Michael Waltrip
  11. Greg Biffle
  12. Jeff Gordon
  13. Juan Pablo Montoya
  14. Jamie McMurray
  15. Jeff Burton
  16. Kevin Conway
  17. Kurt Busch
  18. Kevin Harvick
  19. Matt Kenseth
  20. Mark Martin
  21. Kyle Busch
  22. Joey Logano
  23. Jimmie Johnson
  24. Regan Smith

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Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.

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