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Earnhardt Jr. draws pole for Budweiser Shootout
Two-time Budweiser Shootout winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. will lead the 24-car field to the green flag in the 33rd annual Budweiser Shootout at Daytona this Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway. Earnhardt secured the top starting position through the random selection process that took place on Thursday night at the SPEED Stage.

The starting lineup was determined at the annual Budweiser Shootout Draw Party on Friday night during which the participating drivers selected a Budweiser bottle featuring a number behind the Budweiser label. The number serves as the driver’s starting position.

Earnhardt was the 14th driver to participate in the annual draw party. Earnhardt will make his 11th start in the Budweiser Shootout on Saturday night and is a two-time winner having scored victories in the annual event in 2003 and 2008.

“I had several bottles to choose from still so it really was just the luck of the draw,” Earnhardt said in reference to making the decision to select the pole-winning bottle.

“The race really can be won from any position so this really doesn’t change our strategy,” Earnhardt added.

The defending winner of the Budweiser Shootout and new driver of the Budweiser car, Kevin Harvick is attempting to score his third-consecutive Budweiser Shootout victory. Harvick won the 2009 and 2010 editions of the race and will have his work cut out for him Saturday night as he starts from the 18th position.

“It’s kind of like winning the home game with the Budweiser Shootout and Budweiser being on the car,” Harvick said of his new sponsor. “The Shootout has been good to us the last couple of years so hopefully we’ll make it three.”

The 33rd annual Budweiser Shootout at Daytona is scheduled for an 8:10 p.m. EST start this Saturday. FOX will provide live television coverage of the event beginning with their pre-race show that will start at 8 p.m. EST.  33rd Annual Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. Saturday, February 12, 2011 at 8:10 p.m. EST

Starting Lineup

Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Tony Stewart
Carl Edwards
Denny Hamlin
Kasey Kahne
Bobby Labonte
Clint Bowyer
Ryan Newman
Derrike Cope
Michael Waltrip
Greg Biffle
Jeff Gordon
Juan Pablo Montoya
Jamie McMurray
Jeff Burton
Kevin Conway
Kurt Busch
Kevin Harvick
Matt Kenseth
Mark Martin
Kyle Busch
Joey Logano
Jimmie Johnson
Regan Smith
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