News & Media

Budweiser ratchets up Daytona commitment

February 24, 2012, NASCAR Wire Service,

The Budweiser Shootout no longer will be the Budweiser Shootout.

A 34-year supporter of racing at Daytona, Budweiser is both shifting and enhancing its commitment. Starting next season, Budweiser will sponsor both Speedweeks as a whole and the Thursday afternoon Duel 150 qualifying races for the Daytona 500.

The Duel will be rebranded the Budweiser Duel at Daytona, encompassing both races.

"Budweiser is the longest running active partner with Daytona International Speedway, and we are incredibly excited to enter this new chapter with them in 2013," speedway president Joie Chitwood said. "The opportunities created by this enhanced partnership are compelling, and our fans will benefit the most.

"The intensity and fun atmosphere that Budweiser brought to the Shootout for so many years will be taken up several notches as they assume a much broader role during Speedweeks and the Great American Race."

The obvious open question involves sponsorship of the Shootout, eligibility for which will revert in 2013 to Coors Light pole award winners from this season and previous Shootout winners who try to qualify for at least one Sprint Cup race in 2012.

The conflicting beer sponsorships led to some awkward eligibility rules over the past few years. Chitwood says he is pursuing several leads for potential title sponsors for the Shootout, but Coors Light is not one of them.

Budweiser's exclusivity with the Speedway precludes a rival beer maker from naming the season-opening exhibition race.