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NASCAR tweaks rules for season-opening Sprint Unlimited race; - Chase drivers now qualify -

Jan 05, 2015 Hit: 1326 Written by 
NASCAR tweaks rules for season-opening Sprint Unlimited race; - Chase drivers now qualify -

In the latest tweak of the rules for the first race of the year for (some of) the Cup drivers at Daytona, NASCAR has announced that all 16 Chase drivers will be eligible to compete in the 2015 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway (DIS). The 75-lap, non-points race will kick off the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing season Saturday, Feb. 14 (FOX, MRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) and will feature an expanded field of drivers based on new eligibility requirements.

A minimum of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers are eligible to participate in the Sprint Unlimited at DIS.

In addition to the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup participants, the field also will include 2014 Coors Light Pole Award winners, as well as former Sprint Unlimited race winners and Daytona 500 pole winners who competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series full time in 2014. Any remaining spots will be filled by drivers highest in 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship points who are not already eligible.

“The 2015 Sprint Unlimited has potential to be one of the most competitive ever,” said NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell. “With more drivers eligible, the intensity level increases for our fans and competitors, making for a compelling start to the 2015 season.”

The 2015 eligible participants include:

  • Kyle Busch (2014 pole winner)                      Austin Dillon (2014 pole winner) 
  • Jeff Gordon (2014 pole winner)                     David Gilliland (2014 pole winner) 
  • Denny Hamlin (2014 pole winner)                 Kevin Harvick (2014 pole winner) 
  • Jimmie Johnson (2014 pole winner)               Matt Kenseth (2014 pole winner) 
  • Brad Keselowski (2014 pole winner)               Kyle Larson (2014 pole winner) 
  • Joey Logano (2014 pole winner)                    Jamie McMurray (2014 pole winner) 
  • Brian Scott (2014 pole winner)                      Tony Stewart (2014 pole winner) 
  • Brian Vickers* (2014 pole winner)                  Kurt Busch (former Unlimited winner) 
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (former Unlimited winner)  Carl Edwards (former D500 pole winner) 
  • Danica Patrick (former D500 pole winner)       Greg Biffle (former D500 pole winner) 
  • Martin Truex Jr. (former D500 pole winner)     Ryan Newman (2014 Chase driver) 
  • AJ Allmendinger (2014 Chase driver)              Kasey Kahne (2014 Chase driver) 

Aric Almirola (2014 Chase driver)

(* – Michael Waltrip Racing today announced that Brian Vickers will not be available to race during the early part of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season due to health issues.)

Tickets for the Sprint Unlimited are available online at or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

-- Release courtesy of NASCAR Follow Matt Myftiu on Twitter @MattMyftiu, and follow AutoTechReviews on Twitter @autotechreview or on Facebook at

Last modified on Wednesday, 07 January 2015 22:20
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Matt Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

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