We are just days away from watching our drivers hit the track at Daytona and NASCAR has released various tidbits about the shootout:
• In total, 91 drivers have participated in the Budweiser Shootout, 42 have participated in two or less, and 28 have taken the green flag in only one.
• Throughout the years, the lowest number of drivers to participate in a shootout was seven in 1981, while the high was 23 in 2008 (although it is set to be broken when 28 cars take to the track Saturday night.)
• Among the drivers who have participated in the most shootouts, none of the top six will hit the high banks of Daytona on Saturday night. They include: Bill Elliot (23), Mark Martin (21), Rusty Wallace (19), Ken Schrader (18), Geoffrey Bodine (16), and Ricky Rudd (16).
• Mark Martin will lose the lead for most consecutive starts in the Shootout, having competed in 20 straight events from 1989-2008 (Martin will not be included this year as a result of the qualifying procedures.) Jeff Gordon is set to take over the active lead, as he will start his 16th straight event Saturday night.
• Seven drivers have won the shootout multiple times. They include: Tony Stewart won three of the last eight, 2001, 2002 and 2007.; Dale Earnhardt won six of the 23 races between 1979 and 2001. His six victories came in 12 appearances.; Dale Jarret won in 1996, 2000, and 2004.; Other multiple winners include: Neil Bonnett (1983 and 1984), Ken Schrader (1989 and 1990), Jeff Gordon (1994 and 1997), and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2003 and 2008).
• Five drivers have won their first start in a shootout: Buddy Baker (1979); Dale Earnhardt (1980); Jeff Gordon (1994); Dale Jarrett (1996); and most recently Denny Hamlin in 2006.
• In the 30 year history of the Shootout, only five times has the winner went on to win the Daytona 500. The list includes: Bobby Allison (1982); Bill Elliot (1987); Dale Jarrett (1996 and 2000); and Jeff Gordon (1997).
• Three times the event has been won from the pole: Darrell Waltrip (1981); Bill Elliot (1987); and Ken Shrader (1989).
• Chevrolet leads the way with manufacture victories in the shootout at 17 (most recently in 2008 with Dale Jr.); Ford is second with seven wins (most recently Dale Jarrett in 2004); Buick has two wins (most recently in 1982 with Bobby Allison); Oldsmobile has two wins (last with Dale Earnhardt in 1980); and Pontiac has two wins (most recently with Tony Stewart in 2002). Dodge has never visited Victory Lane in a shootout.
By the Numbers: Budweiser Shootout at Daytona
.08 – Margin of victory in seconds by Dale Earnhardt over Sterling Marlin in 1995, the closest margin in Budweiser Shootout history
One – Laps led by Rusty Wallace (1998), Neil Bonnett (1983-84), Dale Earnhardt (1980) and Dale Jarrett (2004) in the Budweiser Shootouts they won
2.75 – Average finish by Dale Earnhardt, best by any driver with multiple starts
Five – Drivers who have won the event in their first appearance (Buddy Baker, 1979; Dale Earnhardt, 1980; Jeff Gordon, 1994; Dale Jarrett, 1996; Denny Hamlin, 2006)
19 – Number of lead changes in 2001, the highest number since race began in 1979
19 – Starting position of Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2003, the lowest starting position of a Budweiser Shootout race-winner
23 – Number of participants in 2008, the largest field in the event’s history. That number will be broken this year, as 28 cars will participate.
44 – Laps led by Greg Biffle in 2005, the most by a driver who did not win the event
47 – Laps led by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2008, the most in a single Budweiser Shootout
Source: NASCAR Media P/R