With a strong lineup that features former Sprint Cup Series champions, last year's Chase field, a host of former outstanding rookies, along with a collection of previous winners at the sport's most storied race track, NASCAR announced Friday the list of eligible competitors for the 2011 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona.

 The 33rd annual season-opening event launches Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway with the green flag set for 8:10 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 12. FOX and MRN will broadcast live nationally. It marks the first Cup event held on the track's newly repaved surface. The field is set by the following qualifications, with eligibility based on a driver having competed in Cup within the past two seasons:

* The 12 drivers who qualified for the 2010 Chase

* Past Cup champions

* Past Budweiser Shootout champions

* Past Daytona points race winners

* Cup rookie of the year drivers from 2001-10

"When you take a look at the field for this year's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, it's loaded with all-star caliber drivers," said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition. "From former series champions and Chase drivers, to the past 10 rookie of the year performers, to drivers who have had success at Daytona, we believe the fans are in store for a terrific and highly competitive event on a brand new racing surface."

The race distance will again be 75 laps (187.5 miles), consisting of two segments -- 25 and 50 laps. Both green-flag laps and yellow-flag laps will count. Between segments there will be a 10-minute pit stop allowing teams to pit to change tires, add fuel and make normal chassis adjustments. Crews will be permitted to work on cars and will be allowed to perform functions they would do on a normal pit stop in a regular Cup event. All work must be performed on pit road or in the garage. Changing of springs, shock absorbers or rear ends will not be permitted.

Starting positions will again be determined by a blind draw at the annual Budweiser Shootout Draw Party at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, Feb. 11 on the SPEED stage in the Midway, outside Turn 4.

The Budweiser Shootout -- a "non-points" event for Cup competitors -- was first held in 1979, originally known as the Busch Clash. Kevin Harvick has won the past two events.

 

2011 Budweiser Shootout

Eligible drivers
John Andretti July race winner
Greg Biffle 2010 Chase
Geoff Bodine Daytona 500, Shootout winner
Clint Bowyer 2010 Chase
Jeff Burton 2010 Chase
Kurt Busch 2010 Chase
Kyle Busch 2010 Chase
Kevin Conway 2010 rookie of the year
Derrike Cope Daytona 500 winner
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Daytona 500, July race, Shootout winner
Carl Edwards 2010 Chase
Bill Elliott Series champion, Daytona 500, July race, Shootout winner
Jeff Gordon 2010 Chase
Denny Hamlin 2010 Chase
Kevin Harvick 2010 Chase
Jimmie Johnson 2010 Chase
Kasey Kahne 2004 rookie of the year
Matt Kenseth 2010 Chase
Bobby Labonte Series champion
Terry Labonte Series champion, Shootout winner
Joey Logano 2009 rookie of the year
Sterling Marlin Daytona 500 winner
Mark Martin Shootout winner
Jamie McMurray Daytona 500, July race winner, 2003 rookie of the year
Juan Montoya 2007 rookie of the year
Ryan Newman Daytona 500 winner, 2002 rookie of the year
Ken Schrader Shootout winner
Regan Smith 2008 rookie of the year
Tony Stewart 2010 Chase
Michael Waltrip Daytona 500, July race winner