Sprint Unlimited Preview

Photo- Getty Images
Photo- Getty Images

The day all race fans have been waiting for since November has finally arrived. After a long off-season, NASCAR will be back and under the lights Saturday Night at the Daytona International Speedway for the Sprint Unlimited. This all-star type race will feature all of last season’s pole winners along with any past winners of this race (the race was formerly called the Budweiser Shootout). Get ready race fans because NASCAR is finally back and the 2013 season is ready to set sail.

The most interesting thing about this race is that we still don’t know the logistics of the race such as format, mandatory pit stop, possible elimination and the way the field will be set. All of these factors will be voted on by you, the fans, and fans have already been voting since January. Fans will decide the factors I list above and some of those factors won’t even be revealed until the drop of the green flag on Saturday night. The race format will be unveiled in the coming days and it could be a three segment format with the segments consisting of 40/20/15 laps, or 35/30/10 laps, or 30/25/20 laps. The fan vote for the race format will be revealed in the coming days.

Other race options open to a fan vote is whether or not the teams should have to make a mandatory pit stop after the first segment. Fans can either choose no mandatory stop (0 tires), or a mandatory 2 tires stop or a mandatory 4 tires stop. The final race factor that will be voted upon by the fans will be if there should be an elimination of cars after the second segment. Fans can either choose to eliminate zero, two, four or six cars. The fan vote on these factors should be known by sometime in the early stages of the race.

Here is some basic race info that you, the fans, should be aware of heading into the race. The race will take place on Saturday February 16, 2013 and the estimated start time is 8:29 PM EST. The number of laps will be decided among the fan vote, which I stated above, but, there will definitely be three segments. Race day weather looks like it’ll be partly cloudy with a high temperature of 69 F and a low of 35 F with only a 10% chance of rain. The race broadcast will be shown on FOX and radio coverage can be heard on MRN.

Last year’s Sprint Unlimited (was called the Budweiser Shootout) featured a very interesting way to start the season. Many wrecks left teams with damaged race cars and the finish was an incredible one. Kyle Busch just barely beat Tony Stewart to the line and Busch took the win. Most notably from that race was when Busch saved his car from wrecking twice and went on to win the race. Busch was dead sideways and about on the apron when he saved his car and was able to continue and eventually win the race. Another notable moment from last year’s Sprint Unlimited was when Jeff Gordon flipped a few times just before the pit entrance

Below the whole preview, you can find the entry list for the race which will feature all of 2012’s pole winners and past winners of the event. Most notably not in this race will be Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer. Neither driver won a pole last season or has won this race before. This race will also be the first race with the new Gen 6 car which should create some interesting racing. The Sprint Unlimited is a non-points event so no points will be awarded after the race. This is just like an all-star race where it is win big or go home.

This race features many unknown factors as we head into the race and it will be interesting to see who can come out on top. My early favorite to win is Mark Martin because I think he can contend up front throughout the race and go for the win at the end.

This race should be exciting from start to finish. There will be many drivers going after the win and along the way; all drivers will be feeling out the new Gen 6 car. This event is always a great one and it has a lot of fan support. The race will be a little different this year with the fans involvement in voting on the format and a possible elimination but, the event should be a great one to watch on Saturday night.

On-Track Racing Schedule for the Sprint Unlimited

Practice, 5:00-5:45 PM EST Friday (Can be viewed on SPEED)

Final Practice, 6:30-7:30 PM EST Friday (Can be viewed on SPEED)

The Sprint Unlimited, 8:00 PM EST Saturday (Can be viewed on FOX)

(Times via Jayski)

Next Race- The Daytona 500 from Daytona International Speedway on Sunday February 24, 2013 on FOX

Fan Opportunity– If you would like to be featured in Turn 4 Racing News’s Race Picks for the entire Budweiser SpeedWeeks, please keep reading and find out how! To be featured in our Race Picks throughout the next week of races (including the Truck Race, Nationwide Race and both Cup races) be on the lookout for a Retweet contest from @turn4racingnews (twitter.com/turn4racingnews) tonight at 7 PM EST! Good luck and look forward to see who will be joining our Race Picks for Daytona!

By Jason Schultz

The Entry List for the Sprint Unlimited (Via NASCAR.com)

Entry # Driver Make
1 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet
2 Marcos Ambrose Ford
3 Denny Hamlin Toyota
4 Tony Stewart Chevrolet
5 Greg Biffle Ford
6 Kyle Busch Toyota
7 Matt Kenseth Toyota
8 Joey Logano Ford
9 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet
10 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet
11 Ken Schrader Ford
12 Juan Pablo Montoya Chevrolet
13 Aric Almirola Ford
14 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet
15 Mark Martin Toyota
16 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota
17 Kurt Busch Chevrolet
18 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet
19 Carl Edwards Ford
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