Budweiser Shootout to return to more traditional roots Next year the Budweiser Shootout will return to its original format of only being open to pole winners from the previous season. That was in place from 1979 until 2008 when NASCAR decided to muck with a good thing.
NASCAR has used a variety of different eligibility formats in recent years. The 2012 system saw last year's top 25 in the championship plus past Daytona race winners invited. Starting next year, the race will return to being open to pole winners from the previous Cup season, plus past Shootout winners who attempted to qualify for at least one race in 2012.
NASCAR's senior vp of racing operations Steve O'Donnell said the change was in response to fan requests.
"Fans have expressed their desire to see this event return to its original eligibility rules," said O'Donnell. "We listened and decided it would be best to return to the eligibility rules of years past adding further meaning to pole qualifying for each NASCAR Sprint Cup race."
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