Budweiser shifts role at Daytona races

Budweiser is raising its profile at Daytona International Speedway.

Track officials announced Friday that the company will now sponsor the 10-day Speedweeks at the track as well as the two 150-mile qualifying races, which will now each be called the Budweiser Duel. Budweiser will not sponsor the Shootout as it has in the past and that race is currently seeking sponsorship.

Track officials also said the season-opening 2013 Daytona 500 is expected to be held on the same weekend next season, which will be Feb. 24.

As part of the sponsorship, Budweiser will also receive the presenting sponsorship of the Daytona 500 pre-race broadcast show, according to the track.

“Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway marks the official start of the NASCAR season, and the opportunity to expand our presence throughout the ten-day event puts Budweiser even more in the thick of it all,” said Brad Brown, vice president of sports and entertainment marketing, Anheuser-Busch. “The Shootout has been an important element of our NASCAR program for 34 years, but this opportunity to enhance our partnership makes Budweiser even more relevant to our consumers as well as the fans of the Daytona 500.”