Changes to Be Made at Speedweeks at Daytona for 2013: A Fan’s Reaction

This year, as is the case with most years, many fans tuned in to watch the Bud Shootout, sponsored by Budweiser, and the Gatorade Duels. However, the primary sponsor of the Shootout, Budweiser, has decided to change gears and sponsor the Duels. The Bud Shootout is a race that is designed to honor the top drivers of the past season. The Gatorade Duels help determine the field and the starting order for the annual Daytona 500. The Daytona 500 caps off Speedweeks. It is a great way for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to kick off the season.

The Bud Shootout is generally the unofficial start of the season for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Budweiser has been the sponsor of the event since the 1998 season. When the event was first held, in 1979, Busch was the primary sponsor. The event was then called the Busch Clash. Busch continued to sponsor the event for nearly 20 years, until Budweiser took over. Over the years, the format of the race has changed, but the general concept has stayed pretty much the same.

The Gatorade Duels, as a key part of Speedweeks at Daytona, are also an integral part of the kickoff to the series. Speedweeks covers the period of qualification and other media events that lead up to the big event, the annual Dayton 500, which is held at Daytona International Speedway. This race is the official start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season. The Gatorade Duels are a double feature event that determines which drivers qualify and, for the most part, the drivers' starting positions.

It makes sense that the sponsorship of the Bud Shootout would be changed. With Coors as a sponsor of the pole position and the Shootout shifting eligibility to pole winners of the previous season, it would make sense for Coors to become the primary sponsor of the shootout. Hopefully, if that were to happen, the name would revert back to the former name. The Coors Clash sounds better to me than the Coors Shootout. In any event, it shouldn't be too difficult to find a replacement sponsor for the event as it is an important part of the kickoff of the season.

Kristin Watt has been a NASCAR Winston Cup, now Sprint Cup, fan for as long as she can remember starting way back when she was a little girl and her mother would sit on the couch with her every Sunday during the season to watch the races. Back then, they were fans of Bill Elliott and newcomer Davey Allison.

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Updated Sunday, Feb 26, 2012