Budweiser to Sponsor Speedweeks and Duel At Daytona Beginning in 2013; drops Shootout sponsorship

Brad Brown, Budweiser's vice president of sports & entertainment marketing and Joie Chitwood III, Daytona International Speedway track president pose with their new Speedweeks and the Duel at Daytona logo. Budwesiser will take over as title sponsor of both events starting in 2013. (Matt Weaver/NASCAR Ranting and Raving)

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. - Budweiser has picked up the title sponsorship of Daytona Speedweeks and the Duel at Daytona beginning in 2013.

One of the evolving stories of Speedweeks came to a close on Friday morning when Budweiser and Daytona International Speedway announced the new agreement. The partnership begins in 2013 and will replace Budweiser's current association with the Shootout at Daytona.

That partnership was complicated by Coors becoming the official title sponsor of the pole award, which had previously supplied entrants to the Budweiser Shootout. That format had been in place since 1979 when the event was known as the "Busch Clash."

Coors picked up the pole award in 2008 when they become the official beer of NASCAR.

With Budweiser's involvement in the Shootout, Coors Light Pole winners were not guaranteed entries. The format went through several changes over the years with the top six from each manufacturer (2007to the top 25 in championship points gaining entry.

NASCAR announced last Sunday that the race will revert to its previous pole winner format, leading many to speculate that Budweiser would not be back. Today's press conference confirmed it.

"The Shootout has been an important element of our NASCAR program for 34 years," said Brad Brown, Anheuser-Busch vice president of sports marketing. "This is an opportunity to enhance our partnership that makes Budweiser even more relevant to our consumers as well as the fans of the Daytona 500."

With Budweiser moving on, NASCAR is seeking a new title sponsor for the Daytona Shootout. Coors is not expected to place a bid.

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