Budweiser Pole Award
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The Coors Light Pole Award and previously the Budweiser Pole Award was an award given to the fastest qualifier in each NASCAR Sprint Cup (formerly Winston Cup) points paying race. Each driver who won a Budweiser Pole Award in the previous season was entered in the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway a week before the season-opening Daytona 500. The Coors Light Pole Award was not given at events where Coors Light Pole Qualifying was rained out and the line-up was determined by owner's points. The Budweiser Pole Award was replaced by the Coors Light Pole Award in 2008 when Coors replaced Budweiser as the official beer of NASCAR.
As a contingency sponsorship, in order to fully be eligible for the Coors Light Pole Award and receive the berth into the Sprint Unlimited, the car must have been affixed with the designated Coors Light decal. Affixing the decal to the car was optional, and was not specifically required on the respective the entry blank for the race. (As a comparison, note that during the Winston Cup era, R.J. Reynolds decals were required by rules).
If a car did not have the decal affixed, the car/driver were still scored as the fastest qualifier, and lines up on race day in position 1. However, the pole award trophy, cash prize, and Sprint Unlimited berth were withheld and the pole award was not recognized. The next-fastest driver (provided they carry the decal) defaults as the 'unofficial' Coors Light Pole Award winner, but did not receive the Sprint Unlimited berth.
The decal issue was seldom an issue except for Richard Petty Motorsports, who traditionally refused to allow alcohol sponsorship on their cars, also did not carry Coors Light Pole Award decals on their cars.
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