Feb 18, 2012; Daytona Beach, FL, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson (48) hits Jeff Gordon (24) exiting turn four during the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Nineteen Drivers Listed For Sprint Unlimited

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NASCAR always kicks off the racing season with the Sprint Unlimited, formally the Budweiser Shootout, at Daytona International Speedway the week before the Daytona 500. This year there are 22 drivers eligible for the Sprint Unlimited and 19 drivers are listed on the entry list.

Drivers eligible for the Sprint Unlimited are those who got at least one pole during the 2012 Sprint Cup series season and past Sprint Unlimited winners.

Driver’s eligible for the 2013 Shootout at Daytona:

1) #55-Mark Martin (4 poles)
2) #5-Kasey Kahne (4)
3) #48-Jimmie Johnson (4)
4) #16-Greg Biffle (3)
5) #11-Denny Hamlin (3)
6) #22-Joey Logano (2)
7) #43-Aric Almirola (2)
8) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya (2)
9) #24-Jeff Gordon (2)
10) #99-Carl Edwards
11) #56-Martin Truex Jr.
12) #51-A.J. Allmendinger
13) #9-Marcos Ambrose
14) #17-Matt Kenseth
15) #18-Kyle Busch (2)
16) #14-Tony Stewart
17) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Past Shootout champions (no 2012 pole):

18) #78-Kurt Busch
19) #29-Kevin Harvick
20) Bill Elliott
21) Terry Labonte
22) Ken Schrader

Three drivers are not listed on the entry list for the race on Saturday.

Drivers entered in the 2013 Sprint Unlimited:

1) #5-Kasey Kahne
2) #9-Marcos Ambrose
3) #11-Denny Hamlin
4) #14-Tony Stewart
5) #16-Greg Biffle
6) #18-Kyle Busch
7) #20-Matt Kenseth
8) #22-Joey Logano
9) #24-Jeff Gordon
10) #29-Kevin Harvick
11) #32-Ken Schrader
12) #42-Juan Pablo
13) #43-Aric Almirola
14) #48-Jimmie Johnson
15) #55-Mark Martin
16) #56-Martin Truex J.
17) #78-Kurt Busch
18) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
19) #99-Carl Edwards

Eligible but not entered:

A.J. Allmendinger
Bill Elliott
Terry Labonte

Why are A.J. Allmendinger, Bill Elliot and Terry Labonte not racing Saturday?

A.J. Allmendinger is not entered in the Sprint Unlimited because Phoenix Racing does not have enough Generation Six cars to risk losing one more on Saturday night. As for Bill Elliot, he announced last year that he does not plan to race anymore NASCAR races in his career so others can have more oppurtunities to drive. Terry Labonte will drive the No. 32 for the Daytona 500 but the team has chosen to have Ken Schrader race Saturday night. Labonte does not have any other teams that can supply him a car this weekend.

Many may ask why last year’s champion and runner-up will not be racing at Daytona. Answer, neither grabbed a pole in 2012 or won the Sprint Unlimited in seasons past. Therefore, Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer will sit out Saturday night’s event.

The Sprint Unlimited will be Saturday, February 16 and can be watched live on FOX at 8pm ET. Saturday night’s race will also be the first time the new Generation Six car will be driven in racing conditions.

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Tags: NASCAR Sprint Unlimited

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