The Budweiser Duel, the 150-mile qualifying races that determine the starting lineup for the Daytona 500, will move under the lights in 2014, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III announced Thursday. The races are scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014.
The announcement was made on the same day the 2013 races were being run on a weekday afternoon, a time when much of the TV audience is at work or school.
With the changes in qualifying guidelines for NASCAR Sprint Cup races this season, making the field is not guaranteed for the top-35 drivers in owner points as it was in previous years and qualifying takes on added importance.
“To earn a coveted starting spot in the Daytona 500, the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will have to perform under the lights and in front of a primetime audience in the Budweiser Duel,” Chitwood said. “Moving the Budweiser Duel under the lights will add another dimension to Budweiser Speedweeks.”
The Budweiser Duel will join The Sprint Unlimited and the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race as the three nighttime races held during Budweiser Speedweeks.