Yates Racing’s Paul Menard will start from the pole position in the Budweiser Shootout on Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway.
Joining Menard on the front row will be Richard Petty Motorsports’ Elliott Sadler as the 28 NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers drew for positions Thursday night.
“We were on the pole in July here and had a good, clean start,” said Menard, who drove for Dale Earnhardt Inc. last year. “If you protect that bottom, that’s the preferred line on new tires. If we hold the bottom down, we’ll let them line up behind us.”
Menard said he wouldn’t fall back in the pack just to see how the car drafts.
“That’s what [Friday] afternoon is for before the Shootout, for practice,” Menard said. “I’d like to lead the whole thing – not saying we’re going to, but I’d like to.
“There’s no points at stake and it’s basically win or nothing. There’s some risks that people take that you normally don’t see in the 500 or other races. So it is what it is. We’re not going to race this car on Sunday [in the 500], so we’re going to try to keep it [in] one piece, [but] if it breaks, it breaks.”
The race is scheduled to begin at 8:10 p.m. EST Saturday.
2009 Budweiser Shootout lineup:
1. Paul Menard, No. 98 Yates Racing Ford 2. Elliott Sadler, No. 19 Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge 3. Reed Sorenson, No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge 4. Scott Speed, No. 82 Red Bull Racing Toyota 5. Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 6. Tony Stewart, No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 7. Brian Vickers, No. 83 Red Bull Racing Toyota 8. Bobby Labonte, No. 96 Hall of Fame Racing Ford 9. Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 10. Kyle Busch, No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 11. Carl Edwards, No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford 12. Kurt Busch, No. 2 Penske Racing Dodge 13. Robby Gordon, No. 7 Robby Gordon Motorsports Dodge 14. Kasey Kahne, No. 9 Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge 15. Jamie McMurray, No. 26 Roush Fenway Racing Ford 16. David Ragan, No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford 17. Michael Waltrip, No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 18. AJ Allmendinger, No. 44 Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge 19. Joey Logano, No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 20. David Stremme, No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge 21. Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 22. David Reutimann, No. 00 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 23. Jeff Burton, No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 24. Casey Mears, No. 07 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 25. Matt Kenseth, No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford 26. Greg Biffle, No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford 27. Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 28. Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
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