On Wednesday last week, NASCAR announced a revised set of criteria for drivers who are eligible for the 2010 Budweiser Shootout. The exact criteria can be found here. In the article linked, near the bottom you will also find the list of drivers who are actually eligible. After looking the list and the criteria over, and remembering how this went last year, is anyone else having a problem keeping up with how these races work?
If you might remember, the 2009 Shootout featured some combination of drivers from each manufacturer, and the eligibility requirements were about as confusing as they are this year. And just when we start to maybe think we have things figured out, they change the rules again.
I don’t know about you, but I miss the days of the Shootout being the the pole winners from the previous year and the past winners of the race. It was so much easier to figure it out, plus it gave those pole winners a bit of a reward for their achievements from the previous season. It was always an elite field of drivers, plus a few guys who were able to get up on the wheel for a couple laps.
With this new set of criteria, what we have now is basically another All-Star race, but this one happens before the season, and is at Daytona instead of Charlotte.
I understand that since Coors took over the sponsorship of the pole award for NASCAR that Budweiser can’t be associated with an award sponsored by their competition. But maybe part of the pole award sponsorship should be that the company also sponsors the Shootout so the format can remain the same.
I’m not usually one to be nostalgic about things, and I hate to complain about this fun race that opens the season, but I simply don’t understand why Derrike Cope, Sterling Marlin, Ken Schrader, Terry Labonte, Geoff Bodine, and John Andretti should be allowed to enter this race. This should be a reward for those who are currently at the top of the sport, and these drivers haven’t been competitive for many years.
So please NASCAR, bring back the Bud Shootout of old.
On Christmas Day, pit road lost one of it’s stars. DJ Richardson, a tire changer for Richard Childress Racing and Braun Racing died of complications due to the H1N1 virus. DJ was a veteran on pit road, and will be missed by many. Both myself and Journo want to extend our condolences to his friends and family.