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There are currently two non-championship point races on the NASCAR Nextel Cup schedule.
The Budweiser Shootout is held prior to the official start of the season at Daytona International Speedway. The Shootout debuted in 1979 and drivers earn the opportunity to race in the event one of two ways, by being a former winner of the event or by winning a pole position in the previous season.
The NASCAR Nextel All-Star Challenge is held at Lowes Motor Speedway usually the weekend prior to the Memorial Day weekend. To be eligible, drivers must have either won a past All-Star event or a race in the previous season. Drivers can also win their way in by a victory in the Nextel Open, a race held on the same day as the All-Star Challenge.
In years past several gimmicks have allowed fans to vote a driver into the Challenge who otherwise would not be eligible.
The format for the All-Star Challenge changes every few years. In 2007, the Challenge held four 20-lap segements with a 10 minute 'halftime' break between the second and third segements. Kevin Harvick driving for Richard Childress Racing was the 2007 winner.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|