A little Bud Shootout history…
On Saturday, February 18, Daytona International Speedway will host the 34th running of the Bud Shootout, a special race that pays no points, but offers a huge purse for the drivers and provides lots of action for race fans. The race was known as the Busch Clash when it was launched during Speedweek of 1979 and was given the current name beginning in 1998. Originally, it was an opportunity for the previous season’s pole winners of the NASCAR Cup Series to win a large sum of money in the days when a pole was not as lucrative as in recent years.
The 2012 event will be a two-segment, 75 lap affair and is offered to the Top 25 in points from the 2011 season as well as winners of previous Daytona races who competed in at least one 2011 Cup race should they not be eligible by way of points. Starting positions will be determined by random draw.
The 1979 edition featured nine cars, and was a one-segment, 20 lap-50 mile “all-out sprint”. Buddy Baker took the win and the $50,000 first prize driving a Waddell Wilson-prepared Oldsmobile. Kurt Busch, winner of the 2011 race, took home $203,000 for the win.
Bill Elliott won the 1987 edition of the race with an average speed of 197.802 mph for the highest speed of a NASCAR sanctioned race, even though it was not a points-paying event. The winner of this event has gone on to win the Daytona 500 the following week a total of five times.