Budweiser Shootout Reverts to Classic Format in 2013

LOUDON, NH - JULY 16: Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Ruby Tuesday Dodge, holds the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position in the NASCAR Nationwide Series New England 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16, 2011 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Update: 11:50 p.m. EST - NASCAR confirms Budweiser as official beer of Daytona International Speedway and sponsor of the Speedway through 2015. No word on if this includes the Shootout.

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. - NASCAR today released the eligibility format for the 2013 Shootout at Daytona and it's a familiar one - Coors Light pole winners and previous race winners.

The 2013 field will consist of 2012 Coors Light pole winners and past shootout winners who have attempted to qualify for at least one race during the 2012 season.

The most notable feature of the press release is the absence of Budweiser and Anheuser-Busch who has sponsored the race since its inception in 1979. It's been said that the Budweiser sponsorship expires after the 2012 season and that the parties have yet to reach an extension.

This could also mark the beginning of a new partnership between Daytona, the Shootout, and the pole award.

"Fans have expressed their desire to see this event return to its original eligibility rules," said Steve O'Donell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. "We listened and decided it would be best to return to the eligibility rules of years past adding further meaning to pole qualifying for each Sprint Cup race."

The announcement is in advance of the first qualifying session of 2012, giving an added bonus to potential Daytona 500 pole winners. Two Daytona 500 starting positions will be locked in after today's qualifying session.

Do you like the new rule changes? And what does this announcement mean for Budweiser, Coors and the Speedway? Tell us what you think in our comments section.

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