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Wed, 19 Oct 2005, 10:19 AM

Budweiser Shootout Draw Party to Determine Starting Lineup
Courtesy of NHRA Communications

For Lucrative Top Fuel Bonus Race in Las Vegas


The eight starting positions for the $100,000 Budweiser Shootout will be finalized Oct. 20 during the Budweiser Shootout Draw Party at "The Joint," a multi-purpose entertainment venue inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

NHRA announced today the 15 Top Fuel drivers who will participate in the Budweiser Shootout Draw Party, which starts at 7 p.m. (PT) and will be hosted by NHRA announcer Bob Frey and Budweiser personality Katie Daryl. During the Budweiser Shootout Draw Party, first round pairings for the Shootout will be determined during a series of random drawings.

Top qualifier Tony Schumacher, who earned the event's only automatic starting position by claiming 10 No. 1 qualifying positions during the season, will face the driver who wins the wild card spot for the No. 8 position in the first round of the Budweiser Shootout. Schumacher, driver of the U.S. Army dragster, was runner-up in the special bonus event in 2003 and is looking for his first Budweiser Shootout victory.

Six other drivers guaranteed a starting spot for the Budweiser Shootout via their final qualifying position during the season series - Doug Kalitta, Larry Dixon, Morgan Lucas, Brandon Bernstein, Cory McClenathan and Scott Kalitta - will find out their first round opponent via a special drawing. As these drivers are introduced during the Draw Party, they will participate in a random drawing to determine their final starting spot from one of the available remaining positions (Nos. 2-7).

Eight drivers are hoping to earn a chance at the $100,000 victory via an open wild card position, which will place that winner into the Budweiser Shootout in the No. 8 starting spot. Defending Budweiser Shootout winner Dave Grubnic, Doug Herbert, Scott Weis, John Smith, David Baca, Rod Fuller, Melanie Troxel and Clay Millican are the hopefuls in contention for the wild card drawing for the No. 8 starting position.

The 21st annual Budweiser Shootout will be held on Saturday, Oct. 22 during the fifth annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with rounds scheduled for 1:30 p.m., 3:15 p.m. and 4:50 p.m. The winner of the Budweiser Shootout earns $100,000. The runner-up claims $15,000, while the two semifinalists earn $6,000 each and the four first-round finishers get $5,000 apiece. A driver that wins the Budweiser Shootout and the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals will earn an additional $50,000 'Double-Up' bonus from NHRA.

Budweiser, the Official Beer of the NHRA, provides a purse of $239,000 during the Budweiser Shootout Series, including $92,000 in bonuses to No. 1 qualifiers at 23 NHRA POWERade Series events and $147,000 available to the final eight participants in the Budweiser Shootout.

The Budweiser Shootout is a special race-within-a-race bonus event contested annually for the eight quickest NHRA Top Fuel drivers in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. In addition to Grubnic, past champions include six-time winner Joe Amato; three-time winners Gary Scelzi and Dixon; two-time winners Kenny Bernstein and Doug Kalitta; and one-time victors Shelly Anderson, Don Garlits and Scott Kalitta.

A limited number of tickets are available to adults 21 years and older for the Budweiser Shootout Draw Party. NHRA fans wanting to attend the Budweiser Shootout Draw Party can win tickets through contests conducted on Las Vegas radio station KKLZ-FM or during one of several raffle prize sessions at the Budweiser Fan Fest, which will be held in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino parking lot (parallels Paradise Road) from noon-7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20.

Budweiser Shootout No. 1 qualifier (will face No. 8 wild card selection in round one): Tony Schumacher, Long Grove, Ill., U.S. Army dragster

Drivers guaranteed a starting position (will draw for starting positions 2-7):

Doug Kalitta, Ypsilanti, Mich., Mac Tools dragster
Larry Dixon, Indianapolis, Miller Lite dragster
Morgan Lucas, Upland, Calif., Lucas Oil dragster
Brandon Bernstein, Indianapolis, Budweiser/Lucas Oil dragster
Cory McClenathan, Anaheim, Calif., FRAM AirHog dragster
Scott Kalitta, Snead Island, Fla., Mac Tools/Jesse James dragster

Drivers who will participate in the wild card drawing for position No. 8:

Dave Grubnic, Ennis, Mont., Zantrex-3 dragster
Doug Herbert, Cherryville, N.C., Snap-on Tools dragster
Scott Weis, Ashland, Va., Barrett Enterprises dragster
John Smith, Williamston, S.C., Hartman Racing dragster
David Baca, Brentwood, Calif., Baca Motorsports dragster
Rod Fuller, Las Vegas, David Powers Homes/Valvoline dragster
Melanie Troxel, Avon, Ind., Skull Gear/Torco Race Fuels dragster
Clay Millican, Drummonds, Tenn., Nitrofish Wear/Werner dragster

Budweiser Shootout First Round Pairings:

No. 1 (Tony Schumacher) vs. No. 8 (TBD from wild card drawing)

No. 2 (TBD from random drawing) vs. No. 7 (TBD from random drawing)

No. 3 (TBD from random drawing) vs. No. 6 (TBD from random drawing)

No. 4 (TBD from random drawing) vs. No. 5 (TBD from random drawing)

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