DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – All four Hendrick Motorsports drivers will line up for the 2012 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 18. Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. each earned a spot in the exhibition event because they were ranked 25th or better in the 2011 driver standings.
The 34th annual season-opening event launches Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 18 with a start time set for 8:10 p.m. local time. FOX and MRN will broadcast live nationally. Criteria are based upon the following qualifications, with eligibility based on a driver having been active in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series during the 2011 season:
•The highest ranked 25 competitors in 2011 Cup driver points.
•Previous winners at Daytona, including the Daytona 500, the July race and Shootout events.
Gordon leads his Hendrick teammates with six total wins at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. Earnhardt owns two, and Johnson has won once there.
Like last year, the race distance will be 75 laps (187.5 miles), consisting of two segments – 25 and 50 laps. Both green-flag laps and yellow-flag laps will count. Between segments there will be a 10-minute pit stop allowing teams to pit to change tires, add fuel and make normal chassis adjustments. Crews will be permitted to work on cars and will be allowed to perform functions they would do on a normal pit stop in a regular NASCAR Sprint Cup event. All work must be performed on pit road or in the garage. Changing of springs, shock absorbers or rear-ends will not be permitted.
Starting positions will be determined by a blind-draw at the annual Shootout Draw Party on Friday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. on the SPEED stage in the Midway, outside Turn 4. Tickets for all 2012 Speedweeks events are now available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.