Labonte added to The Sprint Unlimited
February 14, 2013, David Caraviello, NASCAR.com
Terry Labonte, who won the 1985 edition of The Sprint Unlimited, will drive Frank Stoddard's No. 32 Ford in Saturday night's season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway at 8:10 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Labonte replaces two-time Sprint Unlimited winner Ken Schrader.
Kyle Busch will attempt to defend his title in the non-points event that opens the Sprint Cup season.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver is among those headlining the entry list for Saturday night’s The Sprint Unlimited, the 75-lap exhibition at Daytona International Speedway that will kick off the 2013 NASCAR season. Busch could become the fifth driver to win back-to-back titles in the event, while his former teammate Tony Stewart has an opportunity for a fourth victory, which would inch him closer to Dale Earnhardt’s record of six crowns.
THE SPRINT UNLIMITED
Sprint Cup Series kickoff
New innovations for 2013
Ten of last season’s Chase drivers -- Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Martin Truex Jr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- are qualified for the race, which is restricted to pole winners from 2012 and former champions of the event. The Sprint Unlimited will also mark the competitive debut of the Generation-6 race cars, redesigned to feature more brand identity to match their production counterparts.
Fan voting will determine several aspects of the event, including length of the three segments, the type of pit stop (if any) teams will have to make after the first segment, and how many cars (between zero and six) will be eliminated after the second segment. The segment-length vote ended at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday night, and the fans chose the 30-25-20-lap format. The other two aspects won’t be determined until after the race begins Saturday night.
Two drivers qualified for the event -- AJ Allmendinger, a pole winner last season, and former event winner Bill Elliott -- will not be participating.
|12||Juan Pablo Montoya||Chevrolet|
|16||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota|
|18||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet|