Since 1979 Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway have been kicked off by a preliminary event known formally as the Budweiser Shootout or the Busch Clash. While the format over the years has changed the excitement for the race hasn't changed. Fans always look forward to the first race on the schedule and the Shootout provided that.
From 1979-2008 the race consisted of the previous seasons pole winners and past winners of the event. For the last four seasons the race format has changed several times, due to sponsorship obligations. The race was exciting but the format of the race frustrated people and it impacted the race.
NASCAR decided to go back to the roots of the race and bring the pole winners back into play and in 2013 that's the what they did. However, Budweiser, which has sponsored the race since it's inception, will no longer sponsor the race and instead sponsor the 150 mile duel races ran on the Thursday before the Daytona 500. Budweiser will also sponsor all of speedweeks.
That left open the sponsorship of the Shootout, which is now taken over by Sprint. Sprint has decided to name the race the Sprint Unlimited. Sprint will sponsor the race and will also give fans more interaction throughout the event.
Fans in attendance of the race will be eligible to receive special upgrades including being an honorary starter, Grand Marshall and a trophy presenter. Fans can also help deliver the trophy to Gatorade Victory Lane and help with driver introductions during pre race ceremonies.
Currently there are 22 drivers eligible for the Sprint Unlimited.Tags: budweiser shootout, Busch Clash, Daytona International Speedway, Motorsports, NASCAR, speedweeks, Sprint Unlimited