Daytona’s Speedweeks will kick off with a new look for the annual Shootout that will also mark the on-track debut for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car.
Teams continue to tweak on the rule package NASCAR handed out last week with tests at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Daytona still on the schedule before the official season opens. But NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton believes the sanctioning body has the right equation for the start of the new car’s first year.
"We've told them what splitters and spoilers they'll use," said Pemberton regarding the preparation for Daytona. "They know what they need for suspensions and stuff like that."
The annual Shootout will give teams and drivers an opportunity to test the rules package under competitive conditions. But not everyone will have a chance to participate in the race.
The new qualifications for running the event, which was formerly known as the Budweiser Shootout, means only pole winners from last season as well as former winners of the race who made at least one start in 2012, make the field.
The following 22 drivers have earned a spot in the 2013 Shootout:
AJ Allmendinger (Kansas)
Aric Almirola (Charlotte)
Marcos Ambrose (Michigan, Sonoma)
Greg Biffle (Bristol, Darlington, Charlotte)
Kyle Busch (Loudon, Phoenix)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Richmond)
Carl Edwards (Daytona)
Jeff Gordon (Talladega, New Hampshire)
Denny Hamlin (Auto Club, Indianapolis, Dover)
Jimmie Johnson (Kentucky, Chicago, Martinsville, Texas)
Kasey Kahne (Las Vegas, Martinsville, Talladega, Kansas)
Matt Kenseth (Daytona)
Joey Logano (Pocono, Homestead)
Mark Martin (Phoenix, Richmond, Dover, Michigan)
Juan Pablo Montoya (Pocono, Watkins Glen)
Tony Stewart (Atlanta)
Martin Truex Jr. (Texas)
Eligible Former Shootout Winners
Kurt Busch (2011)
Bill Elliott (1987)
Kevin Harvick (2009, 2010)
Terry Labonte (1985)
Ken Schrader (1989, 1990)
That means some top stars of the sport will be spectators on Saturday night, February 16th including Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski and second-place points finisher Clint Bowyer.