I've spent the past week putting together all the statistics and finishes of the 104 different drivers who've raced in the 32 Busch Clash/Budweiser Shootout's that've been held at Daytona International Speedway since 1979. And here's the finished result on an Excel spreadsheet available for download:
Dale Earnhardt owns the most wins in the Bud Shootout with 6 wins in just 12 starts. With just one finish worse than 4th (12th) in those starts his average finish is an ungodly 2.75.
While Earnhardt's the best of all time in this race, Tony Stewart is the best active driver in the Shootout. In 11 starts Tony leads all active drivers in wins (3) and average finish (4.5). He also owns the longest active top 10 streak in the Shootout at 7.
Bill Elliott owns the record for most Shootout appearances with 23. Awesome Bill won the 1987 Busch Clash, has 9 top fives but has only led 21 laps, averaging just less than 1 a race. Mark Martin's 2nd with 21 starts and has the record for most consecutive Shootout starts at 20 (1989-2008); Mark won the 1999 Bud Shootout and has 6 top fives. Jeff Gordon has the longest active streak of consecutive starts at 17, but hasn't won since the last Busch Clash in 1997 (also won in 1994, 9 top fives and 90 laps led).
Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Ken Schrader and Neil Bonnett are the only ones to win back-to-back Shootouts, although Dale Earnhardt won in 3 straight appearances in 1988, 1991 and 1993. Kevin Harvick has a shot at being the first driver to win 3 in a row.
Thanks in large part to the increase of laps in the race from 20-25 to 70+ in 2001, Dale Earnhardt Jr. hold the record for most laps led in the Shootout with 113. In 10 career Shootout starts Dale Jr. has 2 wins, 5 top fives and a 6.4 average finish.
30 drivers have made only 1 Shootout appearance, 6 of them thanks to the 2008 rule change that put in the top drivers from each manufacturer; AJ Allmendinger (finished 5th), David Ragan (26th), David Reutimann (20th), David Stremme (16th), Paul Menard (12th) and Robby Gordon (27th) got their only Shootout start to date thanks to this.
Allmendinger (2008), Kevin Lepage (2000) and Rick Wilson (1989) own the best one-and-done finish, finishing 5th in their only Shootout starts.
In a race that's had anywhere from 7 to 28 drivers entered, Carl Edwards (13.0 avg fin) and Elliott Sadler (15.5) have the most starts without a top 10 with 4.
A surprising repeat runner in the Bud Shootout was David Green who made 3 starts with a best finish of 12th. Green qualified for the 1995 and 1996 Shootouts because for just those seasons the driver with the most poles in the Busch Series the previous season was eligible. David ran the 2000 race thanks to his only career pole, won at Homestead, in 1999; he ran 32 races that season, finishing 30th in the points with a best finish of 12th at Phoenix.
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