12/07 2012

Cup champion Brad Keselowski, runnerup Clint Bowyer not eligible for Daytona Shootout

Cup champion Brad Keselowski, runnerup Clint Bowyer not eligible for Daytona Shootout

Published Thursday, Dec 6, 2012 at 9:33 am EST
Bob Pockrass Sporting News

There’s a saying in racing that it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.

But that doesn’t necessarily ring true for NASCAR’s preseason exhibition race at Daytona International Speedway.

Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski is not eligible for the 2013 Shootout at Daytona. (AP Photo)

NASCAR decided prior to the start of the 2012 season to go back to its traditional eligibility requirements for the Shootout — pole winners from the previous year and past Shootout winners.

That means the top two drivers in the 2012 standings — Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer — aren’t on the list of 22 drivers eligible for the 2013 event.

Not since 2004, when 2003 champion Matt Kenseth did not win a pole, has the Shootout been run without the previous year’s Cup champion.

So who’s on the list of those eligible?

Seventeen drivers won poles this year:

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)

Five drivers who didn’t win a pole have won the Shootout in the past and competed in a 2012 race and are eligible for the 2013 Shootout:

Kurt Busch (2011)

Bill Elliott (1987)

Kevin Harvick (2009, 2010)

Terry Labonte (1985)

Ken Schrader (1989, 1990)

The event used to be sponsored by Budweiser, which originally had also sponsored NASCAR’s pole award. When Coors took over the pole award sponsorship in 2009, the eligibility rules changed and continued to change annually.

A new sponsor and a new format for the Feb. 16 event are expected to be announced soon