On Monday the 19-car entry list was released for Saturday night's Sprint Unlimited non-points race that opens the 2013 NASCAR season at Daytona International Speedway annually. Only pole winners from the 2012 season and past winners of the exhibition event were eligible to enter the 75-lap race to try to end up in victory lane at Daytona.
That stipulation has made 2012 Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski and the 2012 runner-up in the points Clint Bowyer ineligible for the race. The 19 drivers that will race on Saturday night are:
|Car #||Driver||Team||Car Make|
|5||Kasey Kahne||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|24||Jeff Gordon||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|88||Dale Earnhardt Jr||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|9||Marcos Ambrose||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford|
|43||Aric Almirola||Richard Petty Motorsports||Ford|
|11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|20||Matt Kenseth||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota|
|14||Tony Stewart||Stewart Haas Racing||Chevrolet|
|22||Joey Logano||Penske Racing||Ford|
|29||Kevin Harvick||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet|
|32||Ken Schrader||FAS Lane Racing||Ford|
|42||Juan Montoya||Earnhardt Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet|
|55||Mark Martin||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota|
|56||Martin Truex Jr||Michael Waltrip Racing||Toyota|
|78||Kurt Busch||Furniture Row Racing||Chevrolet|
|16||Greg Biffle||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford|
|99||Carl Edwards||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford|
Even though Keselowski and Bowyer will not be in the first race for the Generation 6 car, they will have teammates in the race. Keselowski's Penske Racing teammate Joey Logano is in the event and so are Bowyer's Michael Waltrip Racing teammates Mark Martin and Martin Truex Jr.
AJ Allmendinger, who won a pole last season, will not participate. Also past race winners Bill Elliott and Terry Labonte will not race either even though they are eligible to.
Other notable drivers that are not qualified for the Sprint Unlimited are Ryan Newman, who failed to win a pole for the first time in 12 seasons, Jamie McMurray, Danica Patrick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Paul Menard, Jeff Burton, and Bobby Labonte.
Fans can still vote on the length of the three segments, the type of pit stop (if any) teams will have to make after the first segment, and how many cars (between zero and six) will be eliminated after the second segment. Voting on the segment lengths ends at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday night, the other two aspects won’t be determined until after the race begins Saturday night. You can vote here.
The 19 car field will consist of eight Chevrolets, six Fords, and five Toyotas.
Dale Earnhardt Sr. holds the record with six victories in the exhibition race. Tony Stewart leads the active drivers with three but Kyle Busch won in 2012. All the action can be seen live Saturday night on FOX at 8 p.m. ET.
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