The eight starting positions for the $100,000 Budweiser Shootout will be finalized Oct. 28 during the Budweiser Shootout Draw Party at ¿The Joint,¿ a multi-purpose entertainment venue inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

A limited number of tickets are available to adults 21 years and older for this inaugural event. NHRA fans wanting to attend the Budweiser Shootout Draw Party can win tickets through contests conducted on various local radio stations, including KKLZ-FM 96.3.

In addition to the qualifying drawings for the Budweiser Shootout, the Draw Party also will feature:  live music by local rock group ¿Conched Out;¿ a variety of race cars on display including Kurt Johnson¿s ACDelco Chevrolet Pro Stock Cavalier; appearances by the Budweiser Clydesdales and the Budweiser True Music Roadhouse ¿ an interactive music exhibit ¿ from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. outside the Hard Rock Hotel; and a free NHRA driver autograph session in the Budweiser Shootout Fan Zone outside from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.. 

NHRA announced today the 15 Top Fuel drivers who will participate in the Budweiser Shootout Draw Party, which starts at 6 p.m. (PT) and will be hosted by NHRA announcer Bob Frey and Budweiser personality Katie Daryl. During the Draw Party, first round pairings for the Shootout will be determined during a series of random drawings.

Top qualifier Doug Kalitta, who earned the race¿s only automatic starting position by claiming six No. 1 qualifying positions during the season, will face the driver in the No. 8 position in the first round of the Budweiser Shootout. Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools dragster, is the defending and two-time winner of the Budweiser Shootout (also 1998).

Six other drivers guaranteed a starting spot for the Budweiser Shootout via their final qualifying position during the season series ¿ Tony Schumacher, Dave Grubnic, Brandon Bernstein, Scott Kalitta, Cory McClenathan and Doug Herbert ¿ will find out their first round opponent via a special drawing. As these drivers are introduced during the Draw Party, they will participate in a random drawing to determine their final starting spot from one of the available remaining positions (Nos. 2-7).

Eight drivers are hoping to earn a chance at the $100,000 victory via an open wild card position, which will place that winner into the Budweiser Shootout in the No. 8 starting spot. Larry Dixon, Scott Weis, Rhonda Hartman-Smith, John Smith, David Baca, Brady Kalivoda, Morgan Lucas and Mike Strasburg are the hopefuls in contention for the wild card drawing for the coveted No. 8 starting position.


          The 20th annual Budweiser Shootout will be held on Oct. 30 during the fourth annual ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with rounds at noon, 1:45 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The winner of the Budweiser Shootout earns $100,000. The runner-up claims $15,000, while the two semifinalists earn $6,000 each and the four first-round finishers get $5,000 apiece.


Budweiser, the Official Beer of the NHRA, provides a purse of $235,000 during the Budweiser Shootout Series, including $88,000 in bonuses to No. 1 qualifiers at 22 NHRA POWERade Series events and $147,000 available to the final eight participants in the Budweiser Shootout.

The Budweiser Shootout is a special race-within-a-race bonus event contested annually for the eight quickest NHRA Top Fuel drivers in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Past champions include six-time winner Joe Amato; three-time winners Gary Scelzi and Dixon; two-time winners Kenny Bernstein and D. Kalitta; and one-time victors Shelly Anderson, Don Garlits and S. Kalitta.


Budweiser Shootout No. 1 qualifier (will face No. 8 wild card selection in round one):

Doug Kalitta, Ypsilanti, Mich., Mac Tools dragster


Drivers guaranteed a starting position (will draw for starting positions 2-7):

Tony Schumacher, Long Grove, Ill., U.S. Army dragster

Dave Grubnic, Ennis, Mont., Red Line Oil dragster

Brandon Bernstein, Indianapolis, Budweiser/Lucas Oil dragster

Scott Kalitta, Snead Island, Fla., Jesse James/Mac Tools dragster

Cory McClenathan, Anaheim, Calif., Berryman dragster

Doug Herbert, Cherryville, N.C., Snap-on Tools dragster


Drivers who will participate in the wild card drawing for position No. 8:

Larry Dixon, Indianapolis, Miller Lite dragster

Scott Weis, Ashland, Va., Racegirl dragster

Rhonda Hartman-Smith, Williamston, S.C., FRAM dragster

John Smith, Williamston, S.C., Prestone dragster

David Baca, Brentwood, Calif., Baca Family dragster

Brady Kalivoda, Seattle, BME dragster

Morgan Lucas, Upland, Calif., Lucas Oil dragster

Mike Strasburg, Lindon, Utah, B&J Transmissions dragster


Budweiser Shootout First Round Pairings:

No. 1 (Doug Kalitta) vs. No. 8 (TBD from wild card drawing)

No. 2 (TBD from qualifying drawing) vs. No. 7 (TBD from qualifying drawing)

No. 3 (TBD from qualifying drawing) vs. No. 6 (TBD from qualifying drawing)

No. 4 (TBD from qualifying drawing) vs. No. 5 (TBD from qualifying drawing)