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The 2009 Budweiser Shootout was the first exhibition stock car race of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The 31st annual running of the Budweiser Shootout, it was held on February 7, 2009, in Daytona Beach, Florida, at Daytona International Speedway, before a crowd of 80,000 people. The 78-lap race was won by Richard Childress Racing driver Kevin Harvick after he started from the 27th position. Jamie McMurray of Roush Fenway Racing finished in second, and Stewart-Haas Racing's Tony Stewart was third.

2009 Budweiser Shootout
Race details[1][2]
Race 1 of 2 Exhibition Races in the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Date February 7, 2009 (2009-02-07)
Location Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida
Course Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi (4 km)
Distance 78 laps, 195 mi (313.822 km)
Scheduled Distance 75 laps, 187.5 mi (301.752 km)
Weather Temperatures up to 66.2 °F (19.0 °C); wind speeds up to 10.24 mph (16.48 km/h)[3]
Average speed 168.564 mph (271.277 km/h)
Attendance 80,000
Pole position
Driver Yates Racing
Time N/A
Most laps led
Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports
Laps 23
Winner
No. 29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing
Television in the United States
Network Fox Broadcasting Network
Announcers Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds
Nielsen Ratings
  • 4.9/9 (Final)
  • 4.1/7 (Overnight)
  • (8,300,000 million)[4]

Pole position starter Paul Menard maintained his lead for the first two laps, until he was passed by Elliott Sadler on the third lap. Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the lead for the first time on lap four, eventually leading a total of 23 laps, more than any other driver. On lap 25, a caution flag was given, as Carl Edwards became the leader beforehand. During the caution all the teams made a ten-minute pit stop. On the 41st lap, Earnhardt retook the lead, which he maintained until the 50th lap, when Matt Kenseth passed him. McMurray became the leader on lap 66, and he held it until Harvick overtook him on the final lap to secure the win.

It was Harvick's first Sprint Cup Series (now the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) victory since the 2007 Nextel All-Star Challenge, and Richard Childress Racing's first Budweiser Shootout win since the 1995 edition. Eight cautions were issued during the race, which saw an event-record 23 lead changes among 14 drivers, and attracted 8,300,000 million television viewers.

Contents

ReportEdit

BackgroundEdit

 
Daytona International Speedway, where the race was held.

The 2009 Budweiser Shootout was the first of two exhibition stock car races of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series,[1] and the 31st annual edition of the event.[5] It was held on February 7, 2009, in Daytona Beach, Florida, at Daytona International Speedway,[1] one of six superspeedways to hold NASCAR races, the others are Michigan International Speedway, Auto Club Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway.[6] The standard track at Daytona International Speedway is a four-turn 2.5 mi (4.0 km) superspeedway.[7] The track's turns are banked at 31 degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, is banked at 18 degrees.[7]

The Budweiser Shootout was created by Busch Beer brand manager Monty Roberts as the Busch Clash in 1979. The race, designed to promote Busch Beer, invites the fastest NASCAR drivers from the previous season to compete.[8] The race is considered a "warm-up" for the Daytona 500.[9] It was renamed the Bud Shootout in 1998. The name changed to the Budweiser Shootout in 2001, and it was rebranded the Sprint Unlimited in 2013.[10]

A total of 28 teams were eligible to compete in the race, including the top six teams based on owners' points from the previous season from each of the series four manufacturers (Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, and Toyota). In addition, each of the four manufacturers received one "wild card" berth for a car or driver not already qualified, for previous Sprint Cup Series champions and past Shootout winners based on the 2008 owners' points.[11] The race was 75 laps long (as opposed to 70 laps in the 2008 race), with two segments of 25 and 50 laps. In between the segments there was a pit stop that lasted ten minutes. During the pit stop, teams were able to change tires, add fuel, and make normal chassis adjustments, but they were not be allowed to change springs, shock absorbers or rear-ends. Also, all the work was done in either the garage or on pit road. The caution laps, as well as the green flag laps was scored in the race.[11] Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the race's defending champion.[12]

Practice and qualifyingEdit

Two practice sessions were held before the race, which was on Friday afternoon. The first session lasted 45 minutes, while the second lasted 60 minutes.[2] Kyle Busch was fastest in the first practice session, held in clear and cool weather conditions, with a time of 47.009 seconds, more than seven hundredths of a second faster than the second-placed Jimmie Johnson (recovering from a cut finger on his left hand he sustained while altering his racing uniform with a kitchen knife at the 2009 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race).[13][14] Matt Kenseth, with a personal quickest time of 47.085 seconds, was third-quickest, ahead of Reed Sorenson, A. J. Allmendinger and Earnhardt Jr. Carl Edwards was seventh fastest, still within one second of Kyle Busch's time.[13] In the second (and final) practice session, Johnson was quickest with a fastest time of 46.724 seconds. Allmendinger followed in second, ahead of Earnhardt and Kasey Kahne. Tony Stewart was fifth quickest, with a time of 46.924 seconds. Greg Biffle, Bobby Labonte, Jamie McMurray and Kyle Busch rounded out the top ten positions entering the qualifying draw.[15]

 
Paul Menard (pictured in 2007) picked the pole position for Yates Racing.

During the second practice session, Paul Menard was driving through the first turn, when his right-rear tire deflated, causing him to spin sideways. Scott Speed was close behind him, and although he slowed, he made contact with the right-front quarter panel of Menard's car.[16] Both cars spun across the track, and stopped in the infield grass. Speed's vehicle had minor damage, but Menard's car was extricated to the garage area. Menard was transported to the infield care center for treatment and was released soon after.[17] Shortly after that, Sorenson made contact with the right-rear corner of Kyle Busch's vehicle with the front of his car, and his teammate Kahne sustained damage to his car's right-hand section from glancing the barrier beside the track at the first turn,[16][17] Jeff Burton's engine failed on his third lap of the second practice session,[16] and his team changed engines.[18] Edwards swerved to avoid hitting a chunk of debris that detached from David Reutimann's car at high speed.[2][17]

For qualifying, the 28 drivers that appeared to race chose their starting positions by a lot, a feature that is unique to the event. Menard chose the pole position, ahead of Elliott Sadler, Sorenson, Speed and Denny Hamlin who rounded out the top five positions.[19] Stewart drew sixth place, and Brian Vickers drew the seventh position. Bobby Labonte chose the eighth position, ahead of Earnhardt and Kyle Busch. Eleventh went to Edwards, and the next four places were drawn by Kurt Busch, Robby Gordon, Kahne, and McMurray. David Ragan, who drew sixteenth, was followed by Michael Waltrip, Allmendinger, Joey Logano, and David Stremme in the first 20 positions. Johnson, David Reutimann, Burton, Casey Mears, Kenseth, Biffle, Kevin Harvick, and Jeff Gordon chose the last eight starting positions in the event.[20] Once the lot was completed, Menard commented, "That's pretty cool, By the time I drew there were about four numbers at the front and three back near 17th and 18th so I felt like I had a pretty good shot at getting a good starting position.",[21] and, "I had my eye on the bottle on the far right for a while and it worked out, We'll get a good, clean start and just try to hold them off."[22]

RaceEdit

The 75-lap race began at 8:10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (UTC−05:00), and was televised live in the United States on Fox.[23] Around the start of the race, weather conditions were clear but cool.[24] L. Ronald Durham, pastor of Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, began pre-race ceremonies with an invocation. Vocalist Catina Mack from Orlando performed the national anthem, and country music singer Dierks Bentley commanded the drivers to start their engines.[25] During the pace laps, Burton fell to the rear of the field because he changed his car's engine,[1] and Logano did the same for missing the mandatory pre-race drivers' meeting due to him participating in the track's ARCA Re/Max Series race.[26]

 
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (pictured in 2015) led a total of 24 laps, more than any other driver, before being eliminated from contention in a four-car accident on lap 65.

Menard held the lead going into the back stretch. On lap two, the top seven cars were in a single file with Earnhardt the first driver on the outside lane, and by the conclusion of the lap, side-by-side racing began. Hamlin received assistance from Sadler to pass Menard for the lead on the third lap. On lap four, Earnhardt went to the inside lane to overtake Hamlin to move into first place.[27] On the next lap,[5] Ragan appeared to slow behind Johnson, Robby Gordon made contact with his rear, sending him into the outside barrier. Speed, Logano and Mears were collected in the crash, causing the first caution.[28] Biffle sustained minor cosmetic damage as the involved cars slid down the track, and Jeff Gordon avoided the multi-car accident.[27] Logano and Speed immediately retired from the race because of the heavy amount of damage to their cars.[29] The race restarted on lap nine,[2] with Earnhardt leading and Sadler in second. Three laps later, Sadler passed Earnhardt to retake the lead. He and Kurt Busch were first and second as the field began lap 13, but Stewart and Kahne moved into the first two positions exiting the first turn. Approaching the 14th lap, Kahne slid up the circuit, and narrowly avoided going into Hamlin's side, while Vickers and Harvick made contact with each other, but no caution was needed in both cases.[27]

On lap 17, Hamlin took the lead from Stewart temporarily,[27] but it was Edwards who held the first position at the conclusion of the lap.[1] Stremme separated the field into two with his advance through it.[27] Harvick lost some speed because he was forced into the outside wall, removing his front left fender, and fell five seconds behind the pack.[27][30] At the end of the 22nd lap, Hamlin slid and regained control of his car in the turn four tri-oval. Hamlin turned to the inside on the back straight leaving turn two, but he hit Reutimann, who in turn, clipped the front-right quarter of Stremme's car, spinning both drivers into the grass in the field, and causing the second caution.[27][28] Both drivers continued.[31] During the caution, all of the teams made their compulsory ten minute pit stops, before returning to the track for the restart. Edwards led until his teammate McMurray overtook him on the inside on lap 26. Kahne took the lead on the 27th lap, but Kyle Busch passed him for the position, but the latter had no assistance from Johnson, as Kahne regained the lead. On lap 29, McMurray became the leader, but he lost it to Jeff Gordon on the inside lane during the following lap. McMurray received assistance from another car to regain the lead from Jeff Gordon on lap 31.[27]

Jeff Gordon fell behind in the middle lane, and Vickers hit his car's rear. That caused Gordon to clip Biffle's rear and left-hand sides, sending him into Johnson's path, and collecting Mears, Burton, and Allmendinger; a third caution was issued, during which most of the leaders, including McMurray, made pit stops for fuel and tires.[27] Kyle Busch led at the lap 36 restart. Two laps later, Sorenson's engine failed, curtailing his race, and bringing out a fourth caution because of oil on the track.[1] Earnhardt was aided by his teammate Jeff Gordon to pass Kyle Busch to become the leader for the second time at the lap 41 restart. Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon created a single file as the former led the next eight laps. In the meantime, Waltrip was pushed by Sadler and hit the outside wall on the back straight. On lap 50, Kenseth got ahead of Earnhardt to take the first position. However, Earnhardt regained the lead on the 51st lap. Five laps later, a fifth caution came out after a three-car accident involving Reutimann, Stremme, and Sadler going into the first turn. Every driver (including Earnhardt) chose to make pit stops for fuel and tires.[1][27] Edwards and Kyle Busch ran into the infield grass as the nearest drivers ran four abreast entering turn one.[27][30]

 
Kevin Harvick (pictured in 2006) passed Jamie McMurray on the final lap after receiving assistance from Denny Hamlin to win the race.

At the lap 59 restart, Kyle Busch led Earnhardt. On the next lap, Johnson helped his teammate Earnhardt reclaim the lead on the outside lane. Jeff Gordon took it on lap 61 when Earnhardt lost the draft after getting loose, and fell to the rear of the pack.[1][27][29] Johnson led the next two laps until Vickers passed him coming off turn two on the 64th lap. On the following lap, a sixth caution was prompted, as Menard lost control of his car leaving the fourth turn, collecting Earnhardt, who in turn hit Labonte on his way towards the outside wall. Biffle was tagged by possibly Mears. McMurray led the field at the restart on lap 68, followed by Johnson and Kyle Busch. Leaving turn four, McMurray got loose in front of Johnson and Kyle Busch, but he retained the lead. Kenseth and Johnson steered to the inside lane on the 71st lap, and McMurray responded by doing the same. Johnson fell to fifth after receiving a bump that sent him up the track. McMurray then held off Kenseth on the outside line during lap 72. On the next lap, Jeff Gordon went to the inside to try and get ahead of McMurray, but he did not succeed.[27] McMurray's sizeable lead was reduced to nothing,[32] as a seventh caution was necessitated on the 74th lap, when Stremme slid into Biffle's rear, sending Biffle into the outside barrier; the two were connected until they reached the infield grass.[27]

The race restarted on the 77th lap, for a green–white–checker finish (extending the race to 78 laps) with McMurray leading Jeff Gordon, Johnson, and Harvick. Exiting the first turn, a large amount of bump drafting was observed.[27] On the final lap, Hamlin gave Harvick assistance on the outside lane to maintain Harvick's momentum on the backstretch.[5][33] That enabled Harvick to pass McMurray for the lead on the backstretch.[29] Behind the two, Johnson got loose from being bumped by Stewart, and slid into the side of Hamlin and Mears between turns three and four. Then, Kahne hit Kyle Busch's rear and the two crashed.[27] Vickers was caught up in the accident because he could not steer away enough to avoid it.[34] The eighth (and final) caution came out, and the field was frozen in place, with the order of finish determined by where the drivers were when the caution began.[2][27] This gave Harvick the victory; his first in the Sprint Cup Series (now the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) since another exhibition event 71 races prior, the 2007 Nextel All-Star Challenge.[33] It was also Richard Childress Racing's first Budweiser Shootout win since the 1995 edition.[30] McMurray finished second, Stewart took third, Jeff Gordon fourth, and Allmendinger fifth. Kahne, Edwards, Kenseth, Kurt Busch, and Kyle Busch completed the top ten.[1] There was an event-breaking 23 lead changes among a record 14 different drivers during the course of the race.[32] Earnhardt led four times for a total of 23 laps, more than any other driver. Harvick led once for a single lap.[1]

Post-race commentsEdit

Harvick appeared in Victory Lane to celebrate his first win since 2007 in front of the crowd of 80,000 people; the win earned him $200,000.[1] He said the win was reminiscent of his 2007 Daytona 500 triumph when he overtook Mark Martin on its final lap and a multi-car accident occurred behind him,[5][31] "We got behind early, lost the draft and I was thinking, ‘Man, we won the Daytona 500 the same way,’ Just never giving up. If that's not fun to watch, I don't know what is. I had gotten squeezed up in the wall and knocked the left-front fender off. It seemed like we were in the wrong spot for the whole race. But we ended up in the right place when it mattered."[31] McMurray said he was disappointed to lose the win after failing to block Harvick sufficiently, "I saw (Harvick) coming, I moved up and I thought I was high enough," he said. "I didn't think there was room between him and the wall, and he just snuck in there. You feel like a sucker when you're in the front of this deal."[33] Stewart, who finished third in his first race as a team owner,[5] spoke of his satisfaction with the result with his new crew chief Darian Grubb, "It really put me at ease I guess the whole night. Just hearing his confidence on the radio gave me confidence. We led laps tonight. We were a factor at parts of the night. I think everybody at some point of the night was vulnerable and able to fall to the back and get freight-trained."[30]

Ragan suggested that Robby Gordon had lost focus when he hit him on lap five, "It's just a typical deal here at Daytona and Talladega. When someone gets checked up usually two or three rows back someone doesn't see it."[28] Logano said of his involvement in the accident, "You start in the back and that's kind of what happens, (I) just saw one (car) get loose, checked up and then saw he was coming down so I floored ahead to the apron and just (got) clipped enough to send me back head-on into the wall."[5] Speed called the crash as an instance of being in the "wrong place wrong time" and referred to his second practice session accident with Menard, "Kind of a thing that happens around here -- it's racing. The cars are so heavy and they're going so fast it's not actually a lot of reacting that you can do. Sometimes it works out and you go through there looking like a hero and sometimes it doesn't. It didn't work out the best, but still it's better than nothing."[28]

Some drivers and crew chiefs raised concerns during and after the event about the handling of the Car of Tomorrow on Daytona International Speedway's variable track surface.[35][36] Kyle Busch argued the car was not suitable for the track because of balance difficulties,[35] and Labonte said it was "pretty erratic" as its handling was not to his liking.[36] McMurray said although he did not feel his any loss of vehicle control, he reported it bounced several times, which he felt was a positive.[35] Todd Parrott, Labonte's crew chief, stated his belief that there was little handling changes from previous editions of the race, and Reutimann concurred with his opinion, "I wouldn't say it's much different than usual, They're kind of a handful, which is kind of how they are."[36] The race attracted 8,300,000 million television viewers;[4] it took one hour, 31 minutes, and 57 seconds to complete; because it ended under caution, no margin of victory was recorded.[1]

ResultsEdit

QualifyingEdit

Qualifying
Pos No. Driver Team Manufacturer Grid
1 98 Paul Menard Yates Racing Ford 1
2 19 Elliott Sadler Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge 2
3 43 Reed Sorenson Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge 3
4 82 Scott Speed Red Bull Racing Team Toyota 4
5 11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 5
6 14 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 6
7 83 Brian Vickers Red Bull Racing Team Toyota 7
8 96 Bobby Labonte Hall of Fame Racing Ford 8
9 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 9
10 18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 10
11 99 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 11
12 2 Kurt Busch Penske Championship Racing Dodge 12
13 7 Robby Gordon Robby Gordon Motorsports Dodge 13
14 9 Kasey Kahne Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge 14
15 26 Jamie McMurray Roush Fenway Racing Ford 15
16 6 David Ragan Roush Fenway Racing Ford 16
17 55 Michael Waltrip Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 17
18 44 A. J. Allmendinger Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge 18
19 20 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 191
20 12 David Stremme Penske Championship Racing Dodge 20
21 48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 21
22 00 David Reutimann Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 22
23 31 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 231
24 7 Casey Mears Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 24
25 17 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford 25
26 16 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 26
27 29 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 27
28 24 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 28
1 Moved to the back of the grid for changing engines (#31), and for missing the pre-race driver's meeting (#20)

Race resultsEdit

Race results
Pos No. Grid Driver Team Manufacturer Laps
1 29 27 Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 78
2 26 15 Jamie McMurray Roush Fenway Racing Ford 78
3 14 6 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 78
4 24 28 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 78
5 44 18 A. J. Allmendinger Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge 78
6 9 14 Kasey Kahne Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge 78
7 99 11 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Racing Ford 78
8 17 25 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Racing Ford 78
9 2 12 Kurt Busch Penske Championship Racing Dodge 78
10 18 10 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 78
11 83 7 Brian Vickers Red Bull Racing Team Toyota 78
12 98 1 Paul Menard Yates Racing Ford 78
13 11 5 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 78
14 48 21 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 77
15 7 24 Casey Mears Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 77
16 12 20 David Stremme Penske Championship Racing Dodge 73
17 16 26 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 72
18 88 9 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 64
19 96 8 Bobby Labonte Hall of Fame Racing Ford 63
20 00 22 David Reutimann Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 56
21 19 2 Elliott Sadler Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge 54
22 55 17 Michael Waltrip Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 43
23 43 3 Reed Sorenson Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge 36
24 31 23 Jeff Burton Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 32
25 82 4 Scott Speed Red Bull Racing Team Toyota 4
26 6 16 David Ragan Roush Fenway Racing Ford 3
27 7 13 Robby Gordon Robby Gordon Motorsports Dodge 3
28 20 19 Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 3
Source:[1][38]

ReferencesEdit

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