DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 7, 2011) – Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be among the drivers participating in this year's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. The 33rd annual season-opening event launches Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 12 with the green flag set for 8:10 p.m. ET. FOX and MRN will broadcast live nationally. It marks the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event held on the track’s newly repaved surface. Criteria are based upon the following qualifications, with eligibility based on a driver having competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series within the last two seasons: ·The 12 drivers that qualified for the 2010 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup ·Past NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions ·Past Shootout champions ·Past winners of the Daytona 500 and July event at the 2.5-mile speedway ·NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year drivers from 2001-2010 “When you take a look at the field for this year’s Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, it’s loaded with all-star caliber drivers,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. “From former series champions and Chase drivers, to the past 10 rookie of the year performers, to drivers who have had success at Daytona, we believe the fans are in store for a terrific and highly competitive event on a brand new racing surface.” The race distance again 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 again will be determined by a blind-draw at the annual Shootout Draw Party on Friday, Feb. 11 at 8 p.m. on the SPEED stage in the Midway, outside Turn 4. The Shootout – a “non-points” event for NASCAR Sprint Cup competitors – first was held in 1979, originally known as the Busch Clash. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.