Kyle Busch will attempt to defend his title in the non-points event that opens the Sprint Cup seasonm, the Sprint Unlimited.
However, Busch will have to do it in a different type of car than last year, as the race marks the competitive debut of new Gen-6 cars, which have been redesigned to feature more brand identity to match their production counterparts.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver is among the star drivers confirmed for Saturday night’s The Sprint Unlimited, the 75-lap exhibition at Daytona International Speedway that will kick off the 2013 NASCAR season. Busch could become the fourth driver to win back-to-back titles in the event, while his former team-mate Tony Stewart has an opportunity for a fourth victory, which would bring him closer to Dale Earnhardt’s record of six crowns.
Ten of last season’s Chase drivers – Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Martin Truex Jr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr. – are qualified for the race, which is restricted to pole winners from 2012 and former champions of the event.
Three drivers qualified for the event – AJ Allmendinger, a pole winner last season, and former event winners Terry Labonte and Bill Elliott – will not be participating.