NASCAR fans, the wait is over. After watching somebody besides Jimmie Johnson finally win the big prize last year — Brad Keselowski took home the Spring Cup — the Sprint Cup is back with the first race of the season, the Sprint Unlimited, formerly known as the Budweiser Shootout.
The 75-lap, 187.5-mile race's format was determined by a fan vote, who will also determine whether a pit stop can be taken and whether six cars will be eliminated during the race. This doesn't sound like a terrible idea because they are two pretty incidental events. Fans shouldn't be determining anything important, even in an exhibition.
Keselowski and last year's runner-up, Clint Bowyer, won't be racing Saturday night. Instead, there's an exciting field of guys like Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Johnson, Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Ken Schrader. The results of this race aren't going to count for anything in the standings, but it's enough to sate the appetite of racing fans who have gone without for another long winter.
Race Date/Time: Saturday, Feb. 16, 8:10 p.m. ET
Location: Daytona International Speedway
Radio: Motor Racing Network; SIRIUS/XM NASCAR Radio, Channel 90