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2009 Budweiser Shootout Shooting Blanks

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Budweiser Shootout

 

The latest trend in education these days is to do away with grading systems in order to build on students’ self-esteem. The problem with this idea is that individuals are no longer recognized for excellence as everybody is rewarded just by trying to do the job.

 

Starting with the 2009 Budweiser Shootout, NASCAR will mirror the above concept of no longer rewarding for excellence by having the top six teams of each car manufacturer compete instead of 2008 pole winners or past Shootout champions.

 

While this certainly benefits Roush-Fenway as all five of their Fords will compete (even Jamie McMurray), popular drivers Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman will be excluded next year because they will be moving to new teams next season. This means also that 2008 pole-winners Joe Nemechek and Patrick Carpentier are out of luck next year, unless one of them replaces Newman in his number 12 Dodge, which isn’t very likely. However, newly announced Gibbs Racing driver Joey Logano, who is replacing Stewart, is assured his place in the Shootout even though he starts racing Cup for the first time at Richmond in September!

 

The Shootout eligibility change is to occur primarily because Coors awards the pole winner of each race now instead of Anheuser-Busch. But rather than having Budweiser lose the Shootout after 30 years of sponsorship, NASCAR opted to change the rules of eligibility. This is yet another instance of NASCAR bending to the will of a big-money sponsor rather than improving the sport for the fans or keeping things fair for the race teams.

 

This is as about as petty as the AT&T and Sprint debacle of last year. Brian France, this Bud’s for you! You certainly paid enough for it.

 

 

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