Martin Draws Pole for Bud Shootout
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ Mark Martin won a blind draw today and will defend his Bud Shootout title from the pole position.
Martin, returning from offseason back surgery, will start inside of Sterling Marlin on Sunday in the 25-lap race made up of last year’s Winston Cup pole winners.
The non-points race is the traditional start of the NASCAR season. The winner earns $100,000. Martin won the race last year after starting in the 13th spot.
The race includes 14 drivers who won pole positions last year. A 15th entry will come from a qualifying race consisting of drivers who recorded the best times in second-day qualifying last year.
Ricky Craven drew the pole position for the qualifying race. Defending Winston Cup champion Dale Jarrett, who did not win a pole last year, will start sixth in the qualifying race.
Tony Stewart and Ward Burton will start from the second row in the main race, with Mike Skinner and Jeff Gordon behind them.
The rest of the field includes: Bobby Labonte, David Green, Ricky Rudd, Ken Schrader, Kevin LePage, Joe Nemechek, Kenny Irwin and Rusty Wallace.
The shootout is missing at least one big name: Dale Earnhardt. He has won the Bud Shootout a record six times, but did not win a pole position last year.