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Mon, 1 Dec 2003, 02:37 PM

Budweiser Shootout Moving to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Courtesy of NHRA Communications

LAS VEGAS -- The Budweiser Shootout, an all-star event which showcases the NHRA's best-performing Top Fuel teams, has a new home.

The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will become the new host of the event that will be contested Oct. 30, 2004, during the fourth annual ACDelco NHRA Las Vegas Nationals.

"The speedway has enjoyed a long relationship with both the NHRA and Budweiser," said Chris Powell, Las Vegas Motor Speedway general manager. "We are excited that they have decided to relocate this event to our premier facility. It will bring even more excitement to the ACDelco NHRA Las Vegas Nationals, which is already one of the most popular stops on the NHRA schedule."

"Anheuser-Busch has proudly supported the Budweiser Shootout competition for Top Fuel drivers for the past two decades," said Tony Ponturo, vice president, Global Media and Sports Marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. "We know that adjusting the race format and moving the event to Las Vegas in 2004 will be exciting not only for the fans but also for the teams as they race for a share of nearly a quarter of a million dollars." The total purse for the 2004 Budweiser Shootout is $239,000, including $92,000 in bonuses to quick qualifiers during NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events leading up to the Shootout and a winner's share of $100,000 for claiming the victory in the championship race.

In the qualifying procedure, all Top Fuel drivers will compete during qualifying at each series event to earn points in order to secure one of seven guaranteed positions in the Budweiser Shootout. The eighth spot, a wild card position, will be awarded to one of the eight drivers who qualified in positions 8-15 in the final qualifying points order. The No. 8 wild card position will be determined through a special lottery drawing, held during a press conference days before the start of the Budweiser Shootout.

Additionally, only the driver who qualifies for the No. 1 position will have his or her starting position automatically locked into the eight-car elimination bracket. The No. 1 qualified driver will face the wild card selection (No. 8) in the first round of the Budweiser Shootout. The six drivers who qualify for positions 2-7 will then participate in a lottery-style drawing to determine their final starting positions on the eliminations bracket. The lottery drawing for positions 2-7 also will be held during the pre-event press conference.

In the wild card drawing for the No. 8 position, three alternates also will be selected at that time, to substitute for any qualified driver who may be unable to compete in the Budweiser Shootout.

Budweiser, "The Official Beer of the NHRA" and the world's best-selling beer, is brewed by Anheuser-Busch, Inc., the world's largest brewer.

The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway has hosted the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series since the facility opened in 2000. In 2001, LVMS became one of three facilities to host two of the 23 races that make up the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

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