What is the Sprint Unlimited? It’s the newest incarnation of what was known as the Budweiser Shootout, and prior to that the Busch Clash. This year’s version even harkens back to the race’s original lineup of pole winners from the previous season, meaning that all three Joe Gibbs Racing drivers will be competing in the Gen-6 debut at Daytona International Speedway.
Kyle Busch, driving the No. 18 M&Ms Toyota Camry, is the defending race winner, and what a ride it was: Busch nearly lost the car twice, but he was able to turn those two should’ve-been-wrecks into an impressive win. Busch has competed in six of these special events, finishing in the top 10 three additional times.
Denny Hamlin, in the No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota, also has a win in the race, coming in his rookie season in the Cup Series, 2006. In seven starts in the event, Hamlin has three more top 10 finishes, including a fifth-place finish in the 2012 spectacle.
JGR newcomer Matt Kenseth has six starts in the race, with his best finish coming in his first start back in 2003, finishing third. Last year, Kenseth finished 21st in the event – but went on to win his second Daytona 500 just nine days later.
The Sprint Unlimited takes the green flag Saturday, February 16th at 8:10 p.m. ET – fans in attendance at Daytona International Speedway will get to choose the starting lineup among the 19 drivers entered. The next day, Sunday, February 17th, qualifying for the front row for the 2013 Daytona 500 will take place at 1:05 p.m.ET. Follow the action as the 2013 season gets underway at joegibbsracing.com.
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