2020 NASCAR Cup Series
|2020 NASCAR Cup Series|
The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series is the 72nd season for NASCAR professional stock car racing in the United States and the 49th season for the modern era Cup Series. The season began at Daytona International Speedway with the Busch Clash, the Bluegreen Vacations Duel qualifying races, and the 62nd running of the Daytona 500. The regular season is scheduled to end with the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona on August 29. The NASCAR playoffs is scheduled to end with the race at Phoenix Raceway on November 8.
This is the first season under NASCAR's new tiered sponsorship model after rejecting Monster Energy's offer to extend its title sponsorship. On December 5, 2019, NASCAR announced Busch Beer, Coca-Cola, GEICO, and Xfinity as the Premier Partners of the NASCAR Cup Series, replacing the sole title sponsor of Monster Energy.
This season was scheduled to be the final year for the Gen-6 car, with the Next Gen car (formerly the Gen-7 car) debuting in 2021. However, when the coronavirus pandemic postponed all NASCAR racing (and therefore, testing) until the month of May, the sanctioning body announced that the debut of the car would be pushed back a year to 2022.
When the season was put on hold due to the coronavirus, drivers from all NASCAR series, including most Cup Series drivers, participated in the inaugural eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series.
Teams and drivers[edit source | edit]
Chartered teams[edit source | edit]
Non-chartered teams[edit source | edit]
Complete schedule[edit source | edit]
|Manufacturer||Team||No.||Race driver||Crew chief|
|Toyota||Gaunt Brothers Racing||96||Daniel Suárez||Dave Winston|
|MBM Motorsports||66||Timmy Hill||Steve Idol 4 |
Clinton Cram 2
Limited schedule[edit source | edit]
|Manufacturer||Team||No.||Race driver||Crew chief||Rounds|
|Chevrolet||B. J. McLeod Motorsports||78||B. J. McLeod||Todd Parrott||15|
|Beard Motorsports||62||Brendan Gaughan||Darren Shaw||4|
|Kaulig Racing||16||Justin Haley||Billy Scott||1|
|Premium Motorsports||27||Reed Sorenson||Peter Sospenzo||1|
|Tommy Baldwin Racing||7||Josh Bilicki||Tommy Baldwin Jr.||1|
|Ford||Rick Ware Racing||54||J. J. Yeley[N 4]||Mike Hillman Sr.||1|
|Toyota||MBM Motorsports||49||Chad Finchum||Doug Richert||1|
Notes[edit source | edit]
- Entries were fielded in a collaboration with Chip Ganassi Racing.
- The No. 51 car is officially listed on paper as Petty Ware Racing because they have a long-term partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports to use one of the charters they own. However, RPM is not involved with operating or helping this team out at the races in any way.
- Gase will be running the full season for Rick Ware Racing split between their multiple cars. He currently has driven both the No. 51 and the No. 53.
- Yeley will be running the full season for Rick Ware Racing split between their multiple cars. He currently has driven the both the No. 52/27 and the No. 54.
- Ragan's entry was fielded in a collaboration with Front Row Motorsports.
Changes[edit source | edit]
Teams[edit source | edit]
- On September 24, 2019, in a Frontstretch article, Rick Ware Racing owner Rick Ware was interviewed and said that he would like to run three cars full-time in 2020. This news was later confirmed by the team on November 14, 2019.
- On November 1, 2019, Go Fas Racing formed an alliance with Stewart-Haas Racing to receive chassis, data, and technical support from SHR starting in 2020.
- On December 12, 2019, Front Row Motorsports announced they would revert to a two-car operation in 2020, effectively shutting down the No. 36 Ford. Despite this, they will field the No. 36 at the 2020 Daytona 500 in a collaboration with Rick Ware Racing, with David Ragan as its driver. On January 21, 2020, FRM renewed its technical alliance with Roush Fenway Racing. On February 3, Bob Pockrass reported that the No. 36's owner points and charter will be transferred over to the No. 38, while the No. 38's owner points and charter from 2019 will go to the Rick Ware Racing No. 53 (No. 36 at Daytona).
- On December 12, 2019, it was announced that Felix Sabates, co-owner of Chip Ganassi Racing's NASCAR division, would be retiring in 2020.
- On December 13, 2019, as part of the team's announcement that they would field two cars in the Daytona 500, MBM Motorsports owner Carl Long said that there is a chance they would field the No. 66 full-time in 2020, with Timmy Hill as the primary driver of that car.
- On December 14, 2019, when it was announced that James Davison would be running the Daytona 500 this season, it was announced that he will be driving a car fielded together by Jonathan Byrd's Racing and Hayward Motorsports, which will be both teams' first forays into NASCAR. The former is an IndyCar Series team and the latter is a Sprint Car team (and both of whom Davison has previously driven for). However, this did not end up happening because the team was not on the official entry list for the race.
- On January 10, 2020, Kaulig Racing announced that they would be fielding a Cup Series team for the first time after running only in the Xfinity Series in their four years of operation. Justin Haley, one of their full-time Xfinity drivers and the defending summer Daytona Cup Series race winner, will drive the No. 16 Cup car for Kaulig in the Daytona 500.
- On February 3, 2020, Bob Pockrass reported that the MBM Motorsports No. 49 team will use the owner points of the No. 46 from the previous season.
- On March 3, 2020, Bob Pockrass reported that Rick Ware may be in the process of purchasing Premium Motorsports from Jay Robinson.
- On May 11, 2020, Tommy Baldwin Racing announced they would return to the Cup Series at the first of the May Darlington races with Josh Bilicki driving the No. 7 Chevrolet. This is the team's first attempt since the 2019 Daytona 500.
- On May 11, 2020, it was revealed through the 2020 The Real Heroes 400 entry list that B. J. McLeod would be debuting his team, which currently competes in the Xfinity Series, in the Cup Series with the No. 78 Chevrolet. He stated the following day that he is set to compete in both Darlington and Charlotte races in May, with the potential of up to 15 events this season after buying equipment from Rick Ware Racing, a team who he has driven for in the Cup Series in select races for the last few years.
Drivers[edit source | edit]
- On June 7, 2019, Daniel Suárez was reportedly working on extending his one-year contract with Stewart-Haas Racing. On October 5, Suárez stated that he and Stewart-Haas were getting close to an agreement. On November 14, it was officially announced that Suárez would not return to the No. 41 car in 2020. On December 6, it was reported that Richard Childress Racing was interested in hiring Suárez either for a third team or as the driver of the No. 2 Chevrolet in the Xfinity Series. On January 6, 2020, Adam Stern of Sports Business Journal reported that Suárez is still working on a deal for 2020, with the Gaunt Brothers Racing No. 96 car being his top option. On January 28, Suárez officially signed with Gaunt Brothers Racing for 2020.
- On June 10, 2019, Richard Childress Racing was reportedly working on getting Tyler Reddick a full-time Cup Series ride in 2020, either with the team or its alliances. Later, on July 30, team owner Richard Childress said that Reddick would not be in the Xfinity Series next year as long as he stays with his team, and that the Cup Series was the only option. On September 4, it was reported that RCR is unclear if they can afford a third team for Reddick, and that Reddick has been talking to other teams such as Roush Fenway Racing. On October 2, RCR officially announced Reddick as the driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet for the 2020 season. In addition, Reddick will compete for the 2020 NASCAR Rookie of the Year honors.
- On June 28, 2019, Christopher Bell signed a contract extension with Joe Gibbs Racing, but had stated he was unsure if he will stay in the Xfinity Series or advance to the Cup Series. On August 15, when asked about the rumors of him replacing Matt DiBenedetto in the Leavine Family Racing No. 95 Toyota in 2020, Bell said that no deals had been signed yet. On September 24, 2019, LFR officially announced Bell as the driver of the No. 95 in 2020. In addition, Bell will compete for the 2020 Rookie of the Year honors.
- On August 13, 2019, it was reported that Matt DiBenedetto may not return to Leavine Family Racing in 2020, with rumors that the No. 95 Toyota will be vacated for either Christopher Bell or Erik Jones, with the other driver in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20. Two days later, DiBenedetto confirmed that he would not be back with LFR after the end of the 2019 season.
- On August 14, 2019, it was announced that David Ragan would be retiring from full-time competition following the 2019 season. However, it was announced on January 10, 2020 that Ragan would return to run the Daytona 500 in the Front Row's No. 36 car in a collaboration with Rick Ware Racing.
- On August 16, 2019, Ryan Preece confirmed he would return to JTG Daugherty Racing for the 2020 season. However, this year, he will drive the No. 37, with his new teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (who replaced Chris Buescher) in the No. 47 which Preece drove in 2019.
- On August 17, 2019, Aric Almirola confirmed that he is signed with the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 10 Ford for the 2020 season.
- On August 17, 2019, Daniel Hemric stated he was "iffy" about his status for 2020, with Tyler Reddick likely moving to Cup and if Richard Childress Racing is not able to find sponsorship to run a third car full-time, Hemric may lose his ride to Reddick despite having signed a two-year contract with the team last year. On September 17, RCR announced that Hemric would not return to the team following the 2019 season.
- On August 19, 2019, it was reported that Corey LaJoie's status with Go Fas Racing in 2020 is uncertain, as Xfinity driver Cole Custer has been mentioned as an option for the No. 32 Ford while the Front Row Motorsports No. 38 car may be an option for LaJoie with David Ragan not returning to that ride next year. If Custer ends up in the No. 32, the team would start a partnership with Stewart-Haas Racing, the team he competes for currently in the Xfinity Series and where his father serves as a team executive. Specifically, it was reported that SHR discussed the possibility of offloading many of their cars to GFR to make room for the Gen-7 car which will debut in 2021. On November 15, Stewart-Haas Racing announced that Custer will replace Suárez in the No. 41 Ford and compete for the 2020 Rookie of the Year honors. On December 3, 2019, it was confirmed that LaJoie had signed a deal to return to the No. 32 in 2020.
- On August 21, 2019, it was reported that Rick Ware Racing was considering Garrett Smithley to drive the No. 51 full-time (in every race) in 2020. When asked about his future with RWR, Smithley replied: "I’m going to take it one race at a time." On September 24, Smithley was interviewed about those rumors and he stated that if he could do what he wanted, he would try to do something similar to what Ross Chastain did in 2019 and run as many races as possible in all three series (Cup, Xfinity, and Truck). In the same article, RWR team owner Rick Ware said that he anticipated Smithley would run several races with his team in 2020, whether it was full-time or part-time. On February 18, 2020, RWR announced Smithley's return to the team.
- On September 6, 2019, Ty Dillon posted a video to his Instagram in which he denied the rumors that he would be retiring after the 2019 season to move into a management role at his grandfather's team, Richard Childress Racing, which has an alliance with the Germain Racing No. 13 team he drives for. The rumor was that either Tyler Reddick would take his place in the No. 13, moving up from the RCR No. 2 car in the Xfinity Series, or that Reddick would bump Daniel Hemric out of the No. 8 car and Hemric would be in the RCR-aligned No. 13 for Germain.
- On September 10, 2019, Paul Menard announced he will retire from full-time racing after the 2019 season and at the same time, Wood Brothers Racing signed Matt DiBenedetto to drive for the No. 21 Ford full-time for the 2020 season. It was previously reported on July 12, 2019 that Menard had re-signed with WBR and was expected to return to the No. 21 team in 2020 with speculation that he had been considering retiring within the next few years after 2020.
- On September 13, 2019, it was reported that Chris Buescher and JTG Daugherty Racing were "in progress" in negotiating Buescher's contract renewal. However, on September 25, it was announced that Buescher would be returning to Roush Fenway Racing and would drive the No. 17 Ford, replacing Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who was released from the team despite having signed a contract extension through 2021 on August 1.
- On October 16, 2019, JTG Daugherty Racing announced that they signed Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to a multi-year deal starting in 2020. Stenhouse replaces Chris Buescher as a driver for JTGD, although he will drive the No. 47 this season, replacing his new teammate Ryan Preece who will be in the No. 37.
- On November 7, 2019, it was reported that John Hunter Nemechek may be close to signing a deal with Front Row Motorsports for the 2020 season. Nemechek replaced Matt Tifft in the No. 36 Ford for the final three races of the 2019 season. On December 12, Nemechek was announced as the new driver of the No. 38 Ford, replacing David Ragan and competing for the 2020 Rookie of the Year honors.
- On November 13, 2019, it was announced that Matt Tifft and Front Row Motorsports have mutually parted ways after Tifft started having health issues towards the end of the 2019 season.
- On November 14, 2019, it was announced that J. J. Yeley would run the full season for Rick Ware Racing in 2020 after running part-time for them last year. The exact car he will drive has not been announced.
- On November 27, 2019, it was announced that Quin Houff would drive the No. 00 Chevrolet for StarCom Racing full-time in 2020 and 2021, replacing Landon Cassill, who is likely to still remain with the team in some other way. Houff had driven part-time for Spire Motorsports and Premium Motorsports last year in the Nos. 15, 27, and 77 cars. In addition, Houff will compete for the 2020 Rookie of the Year honors.
- On December 11, 2019, it was announced that Brennan Poole would be running the full season in the No. 15 for Premium Motorsports and compete for the 2020 Rookie of the Year honors. In 2019, he drove most of the Truck Series schedule for On Point Motorsports. He has also driven full-time in the Xfinity Series for Chip Ganassi Racing.
- On December 14, 2019, it was announced that Australian James Davison would make his Cup debut at the Daytona 500 in an entry jointly fielded by Jonathan Byrd's Racing, an IndyCar Series team he has driven for in the past, and Hayward Motorsports, a Sprint Car team he has driven for in the past. The car will come from Rick Ware Racing. He has made four Xfinity Series starts as a road course ringer. Davison primarily drives in IndyCar, and will attempt to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 this year, meaning he will run both marquee races in the same year.
- On December 20, 2019, Rick Ware Racing announced that Joey Gase will drive one of their cars full-time in 2020. After many years running full-time in the Xfinity Series, this is Gase's first full season in Cup. He ended up driving multiple cars for the team instead of one for the whole year. He drove the No. 51 in the Daytona 500 before moving to the No. 53 for the next few races. He will return to the No. 51 at Darlington.
- On December 21, 2019, Brendan Gaughan announced that he will retire from racing after the 2020 season.
- On January 9, 2020, it was announced that Ross Chastain would drive the No. 77 Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports at the Daytona 500 as well as the Coca-Cola 600 in a partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing, the same way how the two teams jointly fielded Jamie McMurray's entry at the 2019 Daytona 500.
- On January 10, 2020, Justin Haley, a full-time Xfinity Series driver for Kaulig Racing, was announced to pilot Kaulig's new part-time Cup Series car, the No. 16 Chevrolet, in the Daytona 500. He ran three races last year driving the No. 77 for Spire Motorsports, including at the summer Daytona race where he pulled off an upset win in his third series start.
- On January 17, 2020, Parker Kligerman announced that he has no plans to return to the No. 96 of Gaunt Brothers Racing or in any of NASCAR's three national series.
- On February 17, 2020, Ryan Newman was injured in a last-lap flip across the finish line at the Daytona 500. After being removed from his car by safety personnel, Newman was taken to the hospital and then released from the hospital on the Wednesday after the race, and continues to recover from the crash. He eventually spoke publicly about his future driving plans, attending the Phoenix race and appearing on the TODAY Show, where he indicated that he will return to driving as soon as he is able to. Ross Chastain substituted for Newman in the No. 6 at Las Vegas, California, and Phoenix. On April 27, 2020, it was announced that Newman was medically cleared to return to competition. In addition, NASCAR granted him a waiver for eligibility in the 2020 playoffs.
- On April 13, 2020, Chip Ganassi Racing suspended Kyle Larson indefinitely without pay after he was found to use a racial slur during an iRacing event the day before. Shortly after Ganassi's announcement, NASCAR also suspended him indefinitely. The following day, Ganassi outright released Larson. On April 27, 2020, Ganassi announced Matt Kenseth will drive the No. 42 for the remainder of the season. In addition, NASCAR granted Kenseth a waiver for eligibility in the 2020 playoffs.
Crew chiefs[edit source | edit]
- On September 24, 2019, it was announced that Joe Gibbs Racing crew chief Jason Ratcliff will replace Mike Wheeler as the crew chief of the Leavine Family Racing No. 95 Toyota, to be driven by Christopher Bell in 2020. Both Ratcliff and Bell worked together in the Xfinity Series in the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Wheeler will move to the position of LFR's competition director.
- On October 7, 2019, Rodney Childers confirmed that he agreed to a multiyear contract extension with Stewart-Haas Racing as the crew chief of the No. 4 Ford driven by Kevin Harvick.
- On October 17, 2019, Roush Fenway Racing announced that Brian Pattie would not return as the crew chief for their No. 17 car, which will now be driven by Chris Buescher. He had worked for the team for the past four years, in 2016 with Greg Biffle and then since 2017 with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. On November 5, Luke Lambert was announced as Pattie's replacement at Roush Fenway Racing, moving over from Richard Childress Racing after many years there, most recently as the crew chief for their No. 31/8 car, working with Jeff Burton, Ryan Newman, and Daniel Hemric.
- On October 28, 2019, Danny Stockman announced he will step down as the crew chief of the Richard Childress Racing No. 3 car, driven by Austin Dillon at the end of the 2019 season. Justin Alexander will return as the No. 3 team's crew chief in 2020 after having served that position in the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
- On November 5, 2019, it was announced that Richard Childress Racing crew chief Randall Burnett would be moving up with Tyler Reddick from RCR's Xfinity Series No. 2 team to the No. 8 Cup car. He replaces Luke Lambert, who on the same day was announced to be leaving to join Roush Fenway Racing in 2020 as the No. 17 crew chief.
- On November 25, 2019, Joe Williams announced that he has left the StarCom Racing No. 00 team. StarCom Racing has yet to announce his replacement for 2020.
- On December 2, 2019, it was announced that Brian Pattie would move with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to JTG Daugherty Racing, where he will crew chief the No. 47 car, which Stenhouse will drive.
- On December 4, 2019, Stewart-Haas Racing announced a change in their crew chief lineup. Mike Shiplett will replace Billy Scott as the crew chief of the No. 41 Ford, to be driven by Cole Custer in 2020. Both Shiplett and Custer worked together during the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series. In addition, Johnny Klausmeier and Mike Bugarewicz will switch teams, with Klausmeier going to the No. 14 team of Clint Bowyer and Bugarewicz going to the No. 10 team of Aric Almirola. Scott later tweeted the following day that he had joined Richard Childress Racing as the head of engineering, replacing Justin Alexander, who is returning to crew chiefing at RCR full-time in 2020 with Austin Dillon's No. 3 team.
- On December 6, 2019, reporter Bob Pockrass tweeted that Mike Kelley has left Front Row Motorsports and started working at JTG Daugherty Racing, overseeing their fabrication shop. He worked a portion of the 2019 season with Matt Tifft's No. 36 team and the remainder with David Ragan's No. 38 team after a swap with Seth Barbour.
- On December 9, 2019, Cole Pearn announced he had parted ways with Joe Gibbs Racing to pursue opportunities outside of NASCAR. Pearn served as Martin Truex Jr.'s crew chief at Furniture Row Racing from 2014 to 2018 and at JGR in 2019. On December 19, 2019, James Small was announced as Truex's new crew chief for 2020. He previously worked with him as an engineer at both JGR and Furniture Row. He was also interim crew chief for Erik Jones' No. 77 FRR team in 2017 for two races.
- On January 6, 2020, Team Penske announced that all crew chiefs would be seeing a move to different teams within the organization. Paul Wolfe would be moving from the No. 2 of Keselowski to the No. 22 of Logano, Todd Gordon would be moving from Logano to the No. 12 of Blaney, and Bullins would be moving to join Keselowski.
- On January 6, 2020, Richard Petty Motorsports announced that Jerry Baxter would be the crew chief for Bubba Wallace in 2020, replacing first-year crew chief Derek Stamets, who worked with the No. 43 team last season. He previously was a crew chief for GMS Racing in the Truck Series, working with drivers Cody Coughlin, Timothy Peters, Tyler Dippel, and Brett Moffitt for the last two years. Baxter worked with Wallace Jr. in 2013 and 2014 in the Truck Series at Kyle Busch Motorsports, earning five wins paired together.
- On January 7, 2020, Go Fas Racing announced that Ryan Sparks would be the crew chief for the No. 32 car, driven by Corey LaJoie. Sparks previously served as a race engineer at Richard Childress Racing for the No. 3 of Austin Dillon.
- On January 22, 2020, it was reported that Dave Winston would be the crew chief for the Gaunt Brothers Racing No. 96 car, driven by Daniel Suárez. Winston previously served as a race engineer for Richard Childress Racing.
- On January 23, 2020, it was announced that Steve Idol would be the crew chief of the MBM Motorsports No. 66 Cup Series team, after previously having been a car chief for the organization.
- on March 1, 2020, Prior to the 2020 Auto Club 400 at Fontana the No. 37 and No. 47 teams of JTG Daugherty Racing were docked 10 owner and driver points each and crew chiefs Trent Owens and Brian Pattie were suspended for the race after the cars were discovered to have an illegal modification during pre-race inspection. Brian Burns and Eddie Pardue took over the crew chief duties for the No. 37 and No. 47, respectively, for the race.
Manufacturers[edit source | edit]
- On October 31, 2019, Chevrolet announced a new Cup body based on the Camaro ZL1 1LE. The body was approved in Summer 2019.
- After running only Toyotas in 2019, it was announced that at the Daytona 500, MBM Motorsports' No. 66 car would be a Ford.
Sponsorship[edit source | edit]
- On June 13, 2019, Nationwide Insurance announced the end of their five-year sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports' No. 88 Chevrolet driven by Alex Bowman after the 2019 season. On January 29, 2020, Hendrick Motorsports announced that Chevrolet Accessories partners will be the primary sponsor of the No. 88 for 26 races. The sponsorship package will consist of the brands Adam's Polishes, NOCO, and Truck Hero.
- On June 15, 2019, Richard Childress Racing announced Dow would be back for the 2020 season.
- On August 7, 2019, Team Penske announced Discount Tire renewed and expanded their commitment to the No. 2 car for 2020. Discount Tire who has been associated with Team Penske since 2010 will sponsor 15 races as the main sponsor, including the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and the season finale in Phoenix. On January 28, 2020, Miller Lite announced it would sponsor the No. 2 at the Coca-Cola 600 only.
- On September 3, 2019, it was reported that Monster Energy is considering increasing its sponsorship of the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 1 Chevrolet in 2020, as it will no longer become the title sponsor of the Cup Series after 2019. As Monster Energy has spent an estimated US$5 million on the team in 2019, the deal could give CGR close to US$10 million in the next year.
- On September 19, 2019, Liberty University reached a two-year agreement to extend the sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports' No. 24 Chevrolet driven by William Byron. Under the agreement, the No. 24 will carry Liberty University sponsorship in 12 races annually in 2020 and 2021.
- On September 20, 2019, Cincinnati Inc. signed a partnership deal with Hendrick Motorsports that runs from 2019 to 2028. The deal makes the tool manufacturer an associate sponsor for all four teams and a primary sponsor of the No. 88 Chevrolet driven by Alex Bowman.
- On October 4, 2019, Ally Financial extended its sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports' No. 48 Chevrolet for three more years through the 2023 season.
- On October 10, 2019, Stewart-Haas Racing announced that they signed a contract extension with Smithfield Foods to sponsor the No. 10 Ford driven by Aric Almirola.
- On October 23, 2019, Hertz extended its sponsorship of the Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet driven by William Byron through 2021. This deal includes four primary sponsorships per season and a full-time associate sponsorship.
- On October 30, 2019, Oscar Mayer extended its sponsorship of the Roush Fenway Racing No. 6 Ford driven by Ryan Newman through 2021. On January 8, 2020, Wyndham Rewards announced a multi-year extension of its sponsorship of the No. 6 team. On January 22, Castrol signed up as the official motor oil of RFR and a primary sponsor of the No. 6 team in select events. A day later, Acorns announced that it will no longer sponsor the team.
- On October 31, 2019, Mars, Incorporated signed a multi-year contract extension as the official chocolate of NASCAR. The company has sponsored the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota driven by Kyle Busch since 2008.
- On November 4, 2019, HotelPlanner signed a multi-year deal as the official online booking partner of NASCAR.
- On December 2, 2019, NASCAR announced that the organization will not allow CBD sponsorships partly due to restrictions from its media rights partners and also because of FIA regulations (cannabinoids, which CBD is part, is a Prohibited Substance in the WADA Code that is used by the FIA; NASCAR is a member of the ASN of the FIA in the United States, the Automobile Competition Committee for the United States).
- On January 9, 2020, Chip Ganassi Racing announced that AdventHealth would return to the team in 2020 and increase their sponsorship, with two races on the No. 42 of the driver who will replace Kyle Larson, and two races on the No. 77 Spire Motorsports car of Ross Chastain (which will have an alliance with Ganassi in those races). In 2019, they sponsored Jamie McMurray's No. 40 Spire/Ganassi car in the Clash, Larson in the All-Star Race (which he won), and Kurt Busch's No. 1 at Kansas in October.
- On January 14, 2020, it was reported that NASCAR was in advanced discussions with Verizon Communications on a new partnership, which includes upgrading the tracks with 5G technology.
- On January 27, 2020, it was announced that UniFirst will sponsor the Hendrick Motorsports No. 9 Chevrolet driven by Chase Elliott for Phoenix, the NASCAR All-Star Race, and Las Vegas.
- On April 6, 2020, Blue-Emu dropped their sponsorship deal with Bubba Wallace after he decided to quit participating in an eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series event.
- On April 13, 2020, McDonald's, Credit One Bank, and Fiserv (Clover) terminated their sponsorship deals with Kyle Larson following his suspension by Chip Ganassi Racing and NASCAR. In addition, Chevrolet suspended their business relationship with Larson indefinitely.
Rule changes[edit source | edit]
2020 package[edit source | edit]
- On October 1, 2019, NASCAR released the 2020 rules package. Among the changes to the rules is the reduction of road crew members from 12 to 10. Teams with three or more cars are limited to three roster spots. Wind tunnel testing is limited to 150 hours per team and will only be permitted at four wind tunnel facilities (three in North Carolina and one in Indiana). Each car number is allowed a maximum chassis quantity of 12 units. Teams must compete with long block and short block sealed engines in a minimum of eight races each.
- On January 14, 2020, NASCAR announced a reduced downforce package for short tracks and road courses. The new aero package consists of the following changes:
- The rear spoiler will be reduced from 8 inches to 2.75 inches in height.
- The front splitter's overhang will be reduced from 2 inches to a quarter-inch, with its wings trimmed from 10.5 inches to 2 inches.
- The radiator pan's vertical fencing will be removed to reduce front-end downforce.
- On January 28, 2019, NASCAR announced a change in stage lengths for 16 races in the Cup Series. The affected tracks will have the length of their final stages decreased so that only one green-flag pit stop is required instead of two.
Pocono weekend[edit source | edit]
- For the doubleheader weekend at Pocono Raceway, practice and single-car qualifying will take place on Friday, June 26, with drivers using the same cars for both races. The starting order of the Sunday race will be determined by an inversion of the remaining cars on the lead lap at the end of the Saturday race. For example, if the Saturday race ends with 23 cars on the lead lap, the race winner will start in 23rd place while the 23rd-place finisher will have pole position on the Sunday race. All drivers who do not finish the Saturday race on the lead lap will start the Sunday race at the back of the field.
- On October 29, 2019, NASCAR announced that Cup Series qualifying will be held on Saturday, June 27, prior to the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race and the 325-mile Saturday Cup race. The 350-mile Sunday Cup race will take place after the Xfinity Series race.
Charter system[edit source | edit]
- On February 14, 2020, NASCAR announced the extension of the charter system through 2024. The charter system was first implemented in 2016 and had a five-year term that ran until 2020.
Schedule[edit source | edit]
NASCAR unveiled the 2020 schedule on March 26, 2019.
Due to implications from the COVID-19 pandemic, the schedule remains subject to significant changes.
Bolded races indicate a NASCAR Major, also known as Crown Jewel race.
Changes[edit source | edit]
- Further information: History of NASCAR schedule realignments
The original 2020 schedule for the NASCAR Cup Series underwent a series of significant changes.
- The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway moved from the second race to the fifth race of the season behind the West Coast swing to March 15, 2020, returning to its pre-2010 date of mid-March.
- The Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead–Miami Speedway moved to March 22, 2020, no longer serving as the season finale.
- After 21 years of being held in proximity to Independence Day weekend, the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway moved to August to become the final race of NASCAR's "regular season". The Brickyard 400, run at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, moved to the Independence Day weekend scheduling.
- The Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway was switched to a Saturday night race on May 9.
- Kansas Speedway's spring race, the Digital Ally 400 moved to a Sunday afternoon race on May 31 (vacating the Mother's Day weekend scheduling now held by Martinsville), following the Coca-Cola 600.
- Pocono Raceway's two races were consolidated into a doubleheader weekend, with the Kids Free 325 and Worry-Free Weather Guarantee 350 held across two consecutive days. The starting order for the second race would be determined by reversing the order of the lead lap finishers from the first race.
- Dover International Speedway's second date moves to late August, marking the first time the race has not been in NASCAR's postseason.
- The Toyota/Save Mart 350 will move one week earlier than 2018.
- The Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway will be held as the first race of the Playoffs, as the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will move to the first race of the Round of 12.
- The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway will move from mid-August to mid-September, replacing Charlotte and becoming the final race of the Round of 16.
- The Championship Round of the Playoffs will be conducted at Phoenix Raceway on November 8. This will be the first Phoenix race to close out the season. Due to this and the consolidation of the Pocono doubleheader, the 2020 season will end one week earlier than in the past. Usually, the season finale had been held on the third weekend in November, falling sometime between November 16–22.
- The Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway will become the final race of the Round of 12, replacing Kansas.
- The Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway will be held one week later than 2019, replacing Martinsville and becoming the first race of the Round of 8.
- The Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond will move back to Sunday afternoon, similar to 2015–2017 when it was run on a Sunday afternoon. This was done because the two Martinsville Speedway races will be night races in 2020, as both races will start in the day and end at night.
- Two off-weeks between Loudon and Michigan were scheduled to accommodate the (now-postponed) 2020 Summer Olympics (which are broadcast by NBCUniversal networks).
[edit source | edit]
- The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead–Miami Speedway were originally announced on March 12, 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to take place without fans in attendance, but one day later on March 13, 2020, NASCAR announced that the two Cup races (including support races) would be postponed.
- On March 16, 2020, NASCAR announced all race events through May 3 have been postponed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
- On April 17, 2020, NASCAR announced that Martinsville Speedway race weekend on May 8–9 had been postponed, although the sanctioning body affirmed its commitment to running a full 36-race schedule.
- On April 30, 2020, NASCAR announced a revised schedule for the month of May, with two Cup races at Darlington Raceway and two points-paying races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, including the Coca-Cola 600.
- On May 8, 2020, NASCAR announced that Sonoma Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway would not host Cup races in 2020, and that Richmond Raceway's postponed spring date would not be rescheduled.
- On May 14, 2020, NASCAR announced another revised schedule, this time to show the races planned for the end of May through June 21. These tracks include Bristol Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, and Talladega Superspeedway.
Season summary[edit source | edit]
Race reports[edit source | edit]
In the Busch Clash, Ryan Newman started on pole. Brad Keselowski led the most laps. Joey Logano was leading, but got into the wall after contact with Kyle Busch that also collected Keselowski. On the restart, several drivers spun their tires causing a crash before the start-finish line including Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., and Jimmie Johnson. In overtime, Denny Hamlin had a tire go down and collected several cars. On the next overtime restart, Chase Elliott spun after contact with Kyle Larson. Erik Jones made a last lap pass on Newman with help from Hamlin for the win.
In the Bluegreen Vacations Duel, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. led the first Duel. Daniel Suárez got into the wall after contact with Ryan Blaney. Joey Logano held off Aric Almirola to win his second straight Duel. In the second Duel, Alex Bowman led. J.J. Yeley hit the wall after contact with Corey LaJoie. William Byron and Jimmie Johnson drove past Kevin Harvick and Byron held off Johnson to win. Suárez, Yeley, and Chad Finchum failed to make the race.
Round 1: Daytona 500
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. started on pole. After the first 20 laps, the race was red flagged due to rain and the rest was postponed until the following day. William Byron spun and slammed the wall after contact with polesitter Stenhouse as Chase Elliott won the first stage. Stenhouse was hit from behind coming to pit road as Denny Hamlin won the second stage. In the closing laps, Kyle Busch blew an engine as Brad Keselowski was turned into the wall collecting Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola, Bubba Wallace, Justin Haley, Martin Truex Jr., Alex Bowman, Austin Dillon and Matt DiBenedetto. Ross Chastain had a tire go down and collected Joey Logano, Ryan Preece, Ty Dillon, Tyler Reddick, and Christopher Bell. Clint Bowyer and Michael McDowell spun sending the race to overtime. Ryan Newman took the lead from Hamlin on the last lap, but was turned by Ryan Blaney and went airborne and landing on the roof before being plowed into by Corey LaJoie. Hamlin edged Blaney at the line for his third 500 win in five years and his second consecutive Daytona 500 win, becoming the first driver since Sterling Marlin to win back-to-back 500s. Newman was found unresponsive and was removed from the car and was rushed to the hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.
Round 2: Pennzoil 400
Kyle Busch won the pole after qualifying was cancelled due to rain. Chase Elliott dominated early and won both stages. Martin Truex Jr. had to return to pit road to tighten lug nuts and later slammed the wall after having a tire go down. Elliott also had a tire go down and slammed the wall. Ryan Blaney, despite a tire rub, he took the lead from Joey Logano and was heading to the win until Ross Chastain spun. Blaney and Alex Bowman pitted while Logano stayed out. William Byron had a tire rub and wrecked along with Blaney, Kyle Busch, and John Hunter Nemechek as Logano held off Matt DiBenedetto for his second straight Vegas win.
Round 3: Auto Club 400
Clint Bowyer started on pole. Alex Bowman won the first stage. Bowyer brought out the caution aftering having a tire go down. Kyle Larson got into the wall after contact with Denny Hamlin, but was able to keep going. Ryan Blaney won the second stage. Hamlin made contact with the wall. Bowman took the lead from Martin Truex Jr. and continued to lead with Blaney in second. Blaney had to pit for a flat tire with three laps to go. Bowman continued to lead for his second career Cup victory over Kyle Busch.
Round 4: FanShield 500
Chase Elliott started on pole. Ryan Blaney slammed the wall after making contact with Denny Hamlin and collected Brad Keselowski. Kevin Harvick passed Elliott to win the first stage. Erik Jones got into the wall as Keselowski won the second stage. Tyler Reddick ran well until he got loose and got into the wall. Martin Truex Jr. plowed the wall after contact with Aric Almirola. Ross Chastain spun and an accident between John Hunter Nemechek and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. sent the race to overtime. Joey Logano held off Harvick for his second win of the season.
Season paused for two months due to the coronavirus
The fifth race of the season was supposed to be the 2020 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, the first race at Atlanta since its rescheduling from being the second race of the season (in late February or early March, which it was for 5 years) to mid-March immediately after the west coast swing (the races at Las Vegas, Fontana, and Phoenix) as part of the 2020 schedule changes.
Prior to the Atlanta race, NASCAR announced that no fans would be permitted to attend it due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, it was announced the following day that the race would instead be outright postponed to sometime later in the season. The same restrictions applied to the following race, the 2020 Dixie Vodka 400, at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It was supposed to be the first Homestead race since its rescheduling from being the season-finale in November (which it was for 18 years) to March as the sixth race of the season as part of the 2020 schedule changes.
Round 5: The Real Heroes 400
This is NASCAR's first race back since the pandemic hit and is scheduled to be run on May 17th as a one day show. This additional race at Darlington replaced the race at Chicago in June on the schedule. NASCAR announced that there would be no practice or qualifying held so that teams would not need to bring additional crew members to the track and would not need to bring backup cars. (Crew members would be in contact with each other when repairing a primary car damaged in practice or qualifying or to prepare a backup car if a team had to utilize it.)
Brad Keselowski was awarded the pole position by random draw.
Round 6: Darlington 500K
The race is scheduled to be run on May 20th as a one day show. This additional race at Darlington replaced the race at Richmond in April on the schedule. Similar to the first Darlington race, there will be no practices and qualifying. Also, there are going to be no fans in the stands for this race.
Results and standings[edit source | edit]
Race results[edit source | edit]
Drivers' Championship[edit source | edit]
- For further information, see List of NASCAR points scoring systems
(key) Bold – Pole position awarded by time. Italics – Pole position set by final practice results or owner's points. * – Most laps led. 1 – Stage 1 winner. 2 – Stage 2 winner. 3 – Stage 3 winner.[N 1] 1–10
|15||Martin Truex Jr.||32||20||14||32||96||42||–|
|17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||20||3||20||22||88||12||–|
|22||Cole Custer (R)||37||19||18||9||73||1||–|
|25||Tyler Reddick (R)||28||18||11||33||68||9||–|
|26||John Hunter Nemechek (R)||11||24||25||25||63||–||–|
|28||Brennan Poole (R)||16||29||32||31||40||–||–|
|32||Christopher Bell (R)||21||33||38||24||26||–||–|
|35||Quin Houff (R)||39||32||35||34||11||–||–|
|Ineligible for driver points|
|J. J. Yeley||DNQ||28||31||26|
|B. J. McLeod||38|
- Stage 3 Winner only for Coca-Cola 600.
Manufacturers' championship[edit source | edit]
After 4 of 36 races
Television viewership[edit source | edit]
|Round||Race||Date(s)||Time||Network||Viewers in millions||+/-|
|–||Busch Clash||February 9||3:00 PM||FS1||2.455||2.294||7.0%|
|–||Bluegreen Vacations Duel||February 13||8:15 PM||1.544||1.725||10.5%|
|1||Daytona 500||February 16–17||3:30 PM/4:00 PM||Fox||7.300a||9.170||20.4%|
|2||Pennzoil 400||February 23||3:30 PM||5.500||5.115*||7.5%|
|3||Auto Club 400||March 1||3:30 PM||4.789||4.178*||14.6%|
|4||FanShield 500||March 8||3:30 PM||4.575||4.794||4.6%|
|5||The Real Heroes 400||May 17||3:30 PM||–||–|
|6||Darlington 500K||May 20||7:30 PM||FS1||–||–|
|7||Coca-Cola 600||May 24||6:00 PM||Fox||4.258|
|8||Charlotte 500K||May 27||8:00 PM||FS1||–|
|TBA||Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500||TBA||2:00 PM||TBA||5.067*|
|Dixie Vodka 400||TBA||2:00 PM||3.737*|
|O'Reilly Auto Parts 500||TBA||2:00 PM||3.652|
|Food City 500||TBA||2:00 PM||2.806|
|GEICO 500||TBA||2:00 PM||4.521|
|Gander RV 400||TBA||2:00 PM||1.541a|
|Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500||TBA||8:00 PM||2.455*|
|–||NASCAR All-Star Open||TBA||7:00 PM||1.206|
|–||NASCAR All-Star Race||9:00 PM||2.441|
|TBA||Digital Ally 400||May 31||2:00 PM||FS1||2.177*|
|FireKeepers Casino 400||June 7||2:00 PM||1.801a|
|Kids Free 325||June 27||3:00 PM||NBCSN||2.386|
|Worry-Free Weather Guarantee 350||June 28||3:30 PM||2.705*|
|Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard||July 5||3:30 PM||NBC||2.969*|
|Quaker State 400||July 11||7:30 PM||NBCSN||2.075|
|Foxwoods Resort Casino 301||July 19||3:00 PM||2.794|
|Consumers Energy 400||August 9||3:00 PM||2.897|
|Go Bowling at The Glen||August 16||3:00 PM||2.722*|
|Drydene 400||August 23||3:00 PM||1.826*|
|Coke Zero Sugar 400||August 29||7:30 PM||NBC||3.285a*|
|NASCAR Playoffs Round of 16|
|27||Southern 500||September 6||6:00 PM||NBCSN||2.139*|
|28||Federated Auto Parts 400||September 12||7:30 PM||1.779*|
|29||Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race||September 19||7:30 PM||2.503*|
|NASCAR Playoffs Round of 12|
|30||South Point 400||September 27||7:00 PM||NBCSN||2.384*|
|31||1000Bulbs.com 500||October 4||2:00 PM||NBC||1.536a*|
|32||Bank of America Roval 400||October 11||2:30 PM||3.024*|
|NASCAR Playoffs Round of 8|
|33||Hollywood Casino 400||October 18||2:30 PM||NBC||3.304|
|34||AAA Texas 500||October 25||3:00 PM||NBCSN||2.199*|
|35||First Data 500||November 1||2:00 PM||NBC||2.252|
|NASCAR Playoffs Championship|
|36||Bluegreen Vacations 500||November 8||3:00 PM||NBC||2.567|
a An average for both the original broadcast and the postponed race.
(*) denotes schedule change for 2020.
See also[edit source | edit]
- 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series
- 2020 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series
- 2020 ARCA Menards Series
- 2020 ARCA Menards Series East
- 2020 ARCA Menards Series West
- 2020 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series
- eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series
References[edit source | edit]
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