NASCAR & Auto Racing

February's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona will be a crowded affair

A milestone was reached last week when Carl Edwards captured the pole at Phoenix and became the 23rd eligible driver for the Budweiser Shootout Feb. 9 at Daytona International Speedway.

The 70-lap all-star event is a non-points, made-for-TV race that kicks off the NASCAR season each year. Drivers in the field include those who won a pole the previous season, as well as any former Shootout winners.

The record for most starters in the Shootout is 22, set in 2002.

Besides Edwards, other drivers who have already won pole positions during the 2007 season include David Gilliland, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, J.J. Yeley, Jamie McMurray, Dave Blaney, Casey Mears, Reed Sorenson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Michael Waltrip, Greg Biffle and Martin Truex Jr.

Past race winners who are still active and have not won a pole this season include Tony Stewart, Dale Jarrett, Mark Martin, Ken Schrader and Bill Elliott.