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Tue, 24 Oct 2006, 11:07 AM

Budweiser Shootout Draw Party to Determine Starting Lineup for Lucrative Top Fuel Bonus Race
Courtesy of NHRA Communications


The eight starting positions for the $100,000 Budweiser Shootout will be finalized Oct. 26 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 13 No. 1 qualifying positions during the Shootout 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, won his first Budweiser Shootout in 2005. He earned a runner-up finish in the special bonus event in 2003.

Six other drivers have been guaranteed a starting spot for the Budweiser Shootout via their final qualifying position during the season series - Brandon Bernstein, "Hot Rod" Fuller, Doug Kalitta, Melanie Troxel, Dave Grubnic and Larry Dixon. 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. Cory McClenathan, Morgan Lucas, Hillary Will, David Baca, Doug Herbert, Bob Vandergriff Jr., J.R. Todd, and Clay Millican are the hopefuls in contention for the wild card drawing for the No. 8 starting position.

The 22nd annual Budweiser Shootout will be held on Saturday, Oct. 28 during the sixth annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, with rounds scheduled for 12:30 p.m., 3:15 p.m. and 5 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 Schumacher, 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. 26.

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

Drivers guaranteed a starting position (will draw for starting positions 2-7):
Brandon Bernstein, Indianapolis, Budweiser/Lucas Oil dragster
"Hot Rod" Fuller, Las Vegas, Valvoline dragster
Doug Kalitta, Ypsilanti, Mich., Mac Tools dragster
Melanie Troxel, Avon, Ind., Skull Shine/Torco Racing Fuels dragster
Dave Grubnic, Ennis, Mont., StriVectin-SD dragster
Larry Dixon, Indianapolis, Miller Lite dragster

Drivers who will participate in the wild card drawing for position No. 8:
Cory McClenathan, Anaheim, Calif., FRAM Boost dragster
Morgan Lucas, Indianapolis, Lucas Oil dragster
Hillary Will, Ypsilanti, Mich., KB Racing dragster
David Baca, Brentwood, Calif., Mach 1 dragster
Doug Herbert, Cherryville, N.C., Snap-on Tools dragster
Bob Vandergriff Jr., Alpharetta, Ga., UPS dragster
J.R. Todd, Lawrenceburg, Ind., Skull Gear dragster
Clay Millican, Drummonds, Tenn., Werner Enterprises 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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