The NASCAR Sprint Cup Bud Shootout at 8 p.m. Saturday will give us our first real action of the season. Yes, we realize it's a made for TV event and we know there are no points awarded for this sort of preseason showdown. And that's just the point.
Everybody in this race is going for the win. There's no talk about having a good day for the points standings, or the dreaded "points racing" quotes we hear from time-to-time. It's all about being first to the checkered flag, which is the way it should be.
The field will feature the 12 drivers who qualified for the 2010 Chase for the Championship, past Bud Shootout champions, past Daytona points race winners and Sprint Cup rookies of the year for the last 10 years. There are 30 drivers eligible and there are really no significant absences. Neighborhood bully Kevin Harvick has won the last two Bud Shootouts and it would be no surprise to see him up front again considering his aggressive driving style and there is no risk of losing any points.
The event also is run in two segments, the first being 25 laps and the second 50 laps. There will be a 10-minute break between segments to allow crews to check their cars, especially the tires as it will be the first race on Daytona's new pavement.
The starting order will be set by a blind draw at 8 tonight.