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The 2008 Budweiser Shootout was the first official, non-points paying event of the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The race was run on Saturday, February 9, 2008 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida and was restricted to those who were the fastest qualifiers in the 2007 season as well as past winners of the event. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the event, his second shootout, and his first win with Hendrick Motorsports. Fox televised the race starting at 8 PM US EST.

2008 Budweiser Shootout
Race details
Race 1 of 2 Exhibition Races in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Date February 9, 2008 (2008-02-09)
Location Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida
Course Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi (4 km)
Distance 70 laps, 175 mi (281.635 km)
Average speed 140.751 miles per hour (226.517 km/h)
Pole position
Driver Penske Racing
Most laps led
Driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports
Laps 47
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Hendrick Motorsports
Television in the United States
Network Fox Broadcasting Network
Announcers Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, and Larry McReynolds

Eligible driversEdit

There were two ways to become eligible for the Budweiser Shootout: win a pole or win the Budweiser Shootout. For 2008, there were 23 eligible drivers: nine drivers being past winners with lifetime exemptions into the race as long as they remain active in the series, and 15 who were fastest in qualifying for NEXTEL Cup races in 2007.

Past active winners (9)Edit

2007 season pole sitters (14)Edit

Starting lineupEdit

The Budweiser Shootout lineup was determined by a draw of positions on Thursday, February 7, 2008 and aired live on Speed Channel.

° — Because of the wrecks in Happy Hour, or other reasons, these drivers went to the rear of the field.


The final practice session, commonly known as "Happy Hour" was anything but for many drivers as two separate incidents turned into a wreckfest thanks to the restrictor plate style of racing. The first, known as in the restrictor plate races as "The Big One", involved among others, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon, David Gilliland and Jimmie Johnson, forcing them to backup rides. The second incident was more notable, with tensions boiling over from an incident during the Autism Speaks 400 the previous June at Dover, Tony Stewart accidentally brushed Kurt Busch, then slammed into the wall. The driver of the #2 Dodge retaliated en route to the garage area by bumping Stewart's #20 Toyota three times preventing en route to pit road getting to the garage area. Busch was forced into a backup car and forfeited his pole position, and both drivers were ordered to visit the NASCAR Sprint Cup trailer to discuss the incident, and ordered to stay away from one another before the race. It had been reported that Stewart punched out Busch after he was called as "fat" in the trailer. On February 12, 2008, both were placed on probation for six races.


Pace car

The race was broken down into two segments: The first segment, which was 20 laps, followed by a ten-minute intermission, followed by a 50-lap segment, during which teams are required to make a green flag pit stop to change a minimum of two tires. Unlike points-paying races, all restarts are double-file with lead lap cars in the front, and work can be done during red flag periods. When all was said and done, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. led an event record 46 of the 70 laps to win his first race with Hendrick Motorsports.

Top Ten Finishers
Pos. Car # Driver Car Make Team
1 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports
2 20 Tony Stewart Toyota Joe Gibbs Racing
3 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports
4 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports
5 41 Reed Sorenson Dodge Chip Ganassi Racing
6 5 Casey Mears Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports
7 22 Dave Blaney Toyota Bill Davis Racing
8 8 Mark Martin Chevrolet Dale Earnhardt, Inc.
9 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota Joe Gibbs Racing
10 9 Kasey Kahne Dodge Gillett Evernham Motorsports

In a post-race inspection, Casey Mears' #5 Chevrolet was deemed to be too low.