Luck of the draw: Truex picks pole-winning bottle for Shootout
By: By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service, Superior Telegram
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Martin Truex Jr. will start from the pole in Saturday night's 34th Budweiser Shootout after claiming the top spot on the grid in a blind draw of numbers taped to Budweiser bottles.
"I had a plan, and I stuck to it," Truex said after picking the winning bottle from the far right end of the line, as he faced it.
Kyle Busch grabbed the second starting spot for the season-opening exhibition race at Daytona International Speedway, but whether he'll actually line up there remains to be seen.
Busch went to a backup car after falling victim to a multicar crash in Friday's first practice session. The second session was halted by rain, and Busch did not practice the backup No. 18 Toyota. Typically, backup cars that have not had track time in practice must start from the rear.
Because the Shootout is a non-points event, however, NASCAR is reserving judgment on the enforcement of that rule until Saturday.
The decision also will affect the starting positions of Brad Keselowski (who drew the third position), defending race winner Kurt Busch (sixth) and AJ Allmendinger (ninth), all of whom were collected in the same wreck that KO'd Kurt Busch and all of whom were forced to backup cars.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won the Shootout in 2003 and 2008, will start eighth, after drawing his old Dale Earnhardt Inc. car number. Budweiser sponsorship on the No. 29 Chevrolet didn't help Kevin Harvick, who won the race in 2009 and 2010. Harvick drew the 22nd starting position.
The race is scheduled for 75 laps (187.5 miles) to be contested in segments of 25 and 50 laps. Between the two segments, teams will have 10-minute pit stops to make adjustments to their cars.