Daytona International Speedway announced Monday that the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup series next generation racecars will make their debut Saturday night February 16, in an event once known as the ‘Bud Shootout’ but which has been renamed the ‘Sprint Unlimited At Daytona’.
The non-points race which has been the traditional first race of the season for years will have several new elements most which involve fans. Fans in attendance will be eligible to receive special upgraded race experiences from Sprint including roles as Grand Marshal, Honorary Starter, and trophy presenter. Fans can also help deliver the trophy to Gatorade Victory Lane or participate in driver introductions during pre-race ceremonies.
"Sprint is entering its 10th season as title sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series," said Steve Gaffney, vice president of marketing for Sprint said via email. "From the outset, we promised unprecedented access for race fans, and each year we challenge ourselves to honor that commitment in innovative ways. Thanks to the strength of our partnership with NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway, we have designed The Sprint Unlimited so that fans play a major role in all aspects of the event. It is the ideal way to start this milestone season, and we look forward to sharing all of the details later this month."
As announced earlier in the year, the format for selecting the field of drivers in the invitation-only event will return to its roots for 2013. The eligible field of drivers will consist of pole winners from the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and past winners of The Sprint Unlimited who have attempted to qualify for at least one race during the 2012 season.
"Now more than ever, through our growing partnership with Sprint, The Sprint Unlimited will be the fans' race," said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. "Sprint has been a great partner with Daytona and NASCAR, and they continue to raise the bar by engaging race fans in new and innovative ways. We look forward to hearing about additional unique elements for this race in the coming weeks.
"We are also excited for the debut of the new Sprint Cup Series car, which we believe will provide thrilling on-track action and make The Sprint Unlimited an unforgettable launch to the 2013 season."
The field for The Sprint Unlimited is currently at 22 drivers and features a who's who of NASCAR stars.
2012 Pole Winners:
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Martin Truex Jr.
Juan Pablo Montoya
Past champions of The Sprint Unlimited:
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