2012 Budweiser Shootout
|Race 1 of 2 Exhibition Races in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season|
|Date||February 18, 2012|
|Location||Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
2.5 mi (4 km)
|Distance||82 laps, 205 mi (329.915 km)|
|Driver||Martin Truex, Jr.||Michael Waltrip Racing|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Greg Biffle||Roush Fenway Racing|
||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Television in the United States|
|Announcers||Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds, Darrell Waltrip|
The 2012 Budweiser Shootout was a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock car race that was held on February 18, 2012 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Contested over 75 laps, it was the first exhibition race of the 2012 Sprint Cup Series season. The race was won by Kyle Busch for the Joe Gibbs Racing team. Tony Stewart finished second, and Marcos Ambrose clinched third.
Daytona International Speedway is one of six superspeedways to hold NASCAR races, the others being Michigan International Speedway, Auto Club Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Pocono Raceway and Talladega Superspeedway. The standard track at Daytona International Speedway is a four-turn superspeedway that is 2.5 miles (4.0 km) long. The track's turns are banked at 31 degrees, while the front stretch, the location of the finish line, is banked at 18 degrees.
A total of thirty-three drivers are eligible to compete in the race, including the first 25 positions in the 2011 Drivers' championship standings and the winners of the Daytona 500 and Coke Zero 400. The race will be 75 laps long, with two segments of 25 and 50 laps. In between the segments there will be a pit stop that lasting ten minutes. During the pit stop, teams are able to change tires, add fuel, and make normal chassis adjustments, but they are not be allowed to change springs, shock absorbers or rear-ends. Also, all the work can done in either the garage or on pit road. The caution laps, as well as the green flag laps will be scored in the race. Unlike other races, the qualifying grid will be determined by a blind draw. Kurt Busch is the defending race winner.
Practice and qualifying
Two practice sessions were held before the race, which was on Friday afternoon. The first session lasted 45 minutes, while the second was scheduled for 60 minutes, but was shortened to 10 minutes because of rain. Matt Kenseth was quickest with a time of 44.607 seconds in the first session, only five thousandths of a second faster than Jeff Burton. David Ragan with a quickest time of 44.966 seconds was third, ahead of Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, and Denny Hamlin. Brad Keselowski was seventh, still within a second of Kenseth's time. Near the end of the session, Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch collided, starting an accident that included three other cars. In the second and final practice session, McMurray was quickest with a fastest time of 45.524 seconds. Juan Pablo Montoya followed in second, ahead of Greg Biffle and Kasey Kahne. Marcos Ambrose was fifth quickest, with a time of 46.037. Hamlin, Michael Waltrip, Joey Logano, Kenseth, and Carl Edwards rounded out to the first ten positions.
For qualifying, the 25 drivers that appeared to race, chose their starting positions by a draw. Martin Truex, Jr. chose the pole position, ahead of Kyle Busch, Keselowski, McMurray, and Ragan who rounded out the first five positions. Kurt Busch chose sixth place, while Biffle chose seventh, ahead of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and A. J. Allmendinger in eighth and ninth. Logano, Edwards, Burton, Newman, and Jeff Gordon chose the next five positions. Tony Stewart, who chose fifthteenth, was followed by Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, Kahne, and Waltrip in the first 20 positions. Ambrose, Kevin Harvick, Kenseth, Paul Menard, and Montoya chose the last four positions in the race.
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