Menard Draws Shootout Pole

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Yates Racing's Paul Menard will sit on the pole for the Budweiser Shootout on Saturday night at Daytona International Speedway.

“I had my eye on the bottle on the far right for a while and it worked out,” Menard said. “We’ll get a good, clean start and just try to hold them off.”

Joining Menard on the front row will be Richard Petty Motorsports' Elliott Sadler as the 28 NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers drew for starting positions Thursday night.

Defending race winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start ninth as he opens his second season for Hendrick Motorsports in the 75-lap exhibition race. His teammate, three-time defending Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, will start 21st.

Four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon drew the last starting spot -- four of the last six starting positions were drawn by drivers in Chevrolets.

The field is comprised of seven entrants from each of the four participating manufacturers. The top six drivers, based on owners points from the previous season, from each manufacturer (based on their 2009 manufacturer alignment) are in the event. Each manufacturer gets a seventh driver, either a past Cup champion or another car based on owners points.

Robby Gordon elected to participate in a Dodge although he is switching to Toyota for 2009. Penske Racing's Sam Hornish Jr. is one of the top six Dodges based on the owners points he obtained from the No. 22 car owned by Bill Davis, but the paperwork was done too late to get him into the Budweiser Shootout.

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