Jarrett Draws Shootout Pole

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – It didn’t take Toyota long to make history at Daytona International Speedway.

Competing in their first race in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, one of the Japanese manufacturers’ cars will start from the pole position as Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, selected the top spot for Saturday’s Budweiser Shootout.

"How about that?" said Jarrett, who will be trying for his fourth win in seven starts on Saturday. "We’ll see what we have right off.

"It’s an exciting race. Glad to be in it, it’s great for our race team."

The starting lineup for the 70-lap Shootout was established by a drawing which took place Thursday evening at the speedway. It includes 21 drivers, which comprises all of last season’s Bud Pole winners (15 total) and previous winners of the event who finished in the top 50 in last season’s standings.

Unlike a traditional race, the Budweiser Shootout’s format has two segments; The first segment is 20 laps, followed by a 10-minute break when crews will be allowed to make normal pit-stop adjustments on their cars. Following the stop, cars return for the final 50-lap segment.

Starting alongside Jarrett will be Scott Riggs, driver of the No. 10 Valvoline Dodge.

"That’ll be good for us," said Riggs, who won two pole positions in 2006. "It’s cool to be up here with all these guys and break the ice this year."

The other Toyota in the field, Brian Vickers’ No. 83 Red Bull Toyota, will start fourth overall.

A few rows behind will be defending NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson, who drew the eighth position.

Last season’s top Bud Pole Award winners, Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch, will start 15th and 19th, respectively.

David Gilliland will be the only driver in this year’s field without a previous start in the preseason tradition. He will start 13th.

Denny Hamlin, the defending winner of the Budweiser Shootout, will start from the 21st and final position.

"I told them I’d draw 21," said Hamlin. "My luck in Vegas has gone pretty good, so I know it’s about go downhill so I said ‘I will draw 21’ and there it is."

The 29th annual Budweiser Shootout at Daytona is scheduled for Saturday, February 10, at 8 p.m. (ET) with live coverage available on Fox (TV) and MRN Radio.

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