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Fri, 27 Oct 2006, 11:13 AM

Budweiser Shootout Field Set During Draw Party
Courtesy of NHRA Communications





LAS VEGAS -- The eight-car field for the lucrative Budweiser Shootout was set on Thursday evening during a draw party at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. David Baca, who drives the Mach 1 dragster, was the lucky No. 8 wild card spot winner among the eight Top Fuel drivers eligible for the position.

The Budweiser Shootout, a special race-within-a-race bonus event that pays the winner $100,000 is contested annually during the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The first-round begins at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, with rounds to follow at 3:15 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Baca will face Budweiser Shootout No. 1 qualifier Tony Schumacher in the opening round. Schumacher, who raced to a record 13 No. 1 qualifying positions during the Shootout series in his U.S. Army dragster to claim the top spot, is looking for his second consecutive Shootout victory. It is the third year for the new qualifying format and the first time that a driver other than the original No. 8 qualifier for the Budweiser Shootout gained entry to the bonus event via the wild card position. Baca was 12th in the final point standings.

Qualified drivers in positions 2-7 participated in wild card drawings to determine their first-round pairings. The results of those random drawings included: David Grubnic vs. Rod Fuller; Melanie Troxel vs. Larry Dixon; and Doug Kalitta vs. Brandon Bernstein.

If a driver wins the Budweiser Shootout and the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals, he will earn a $50,000 double-up bonus from NHRA, bringing his potential winnings for the weekend to nearly $200,000.

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Budweiser Shootout, Budweiser saluted many of its past champions from Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock Shootouts. Those honored on stage and with a video tribute included Joe Amato, winner of a record six Top Fuel Shootouts; Kenny Bernstein, the only driver in NHRA history to win both Top Fuel and Funny Car Shootouts; Shelly (Anderson) Payne, the only female driver to ever win an NHRA bonus event in a pro category; John Force; Frank Pedregon; Tom McEwen; and Larry Morgan.

2006 Budweiser Shootout first-round pairings, based on results of wild card drawings:

1. Tony Schumacher, U.S. Army dragster vs. 8. David Baca, Mach 1 dragster
4. Dave Grubnic, StriVectin-SD dragster vs. 5. Rod Fuller, David Powers Homes/Valvoline dragster
3. Doug Kalitta, Mac Tools/Von Dutch dragster vs. 6. Brandon Bernstein, Budweiser/Lucas Oil dragster
2. Melanie Troxel, Skull Shine/Torco Racing Fuels dragster vs. 7. Larry Dixon, Miller Lite dragster

Second round:
Schumacher-Baca winner vs. Grubnic-Fuller winner
Kalitta-Bernstein winner vs. Troxel-Dixon winner

Final-round: 5 p.m.





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