- Associated Press - Sunday, February 19, 2012

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (AP) - About 12 hours after the closest finish in Budweiser Shootout history, NASCAR has tweaked eligibility requirements for the exhibition event.

The sanctioning body says next year’s field will include 2012 pole winners in the Sprint Cup Series and past Shootout winners who attempt to qualify for at least one race this season. The new rules mirror those used between 1979 and 2008.

That means there will be at least 11 drivers eligible for the 2013 event following Sunday’s pole qualifying for next weekend’s Daytona 500. The list includes Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Bill Elliott, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Terry Labonte, Mark Martin and Tony Stewart.

The eligibility rules have changed routinely since 2008.

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