Thread: NASCAR 2020

nebish - 1/26/2020 at 01:43 PM

Football’s almost over, means racin getting ready to start!


What’s different in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2020
By Daniel McFadinJan 3, 2020, 2:19 PM EST
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The fog of the offseason has begun to lift and the start of a new NASCAR season looms.

When the fog clears, we will be met with the 62nd Daytona 500 on Feb. 16.

But this won’t be the start of just another season in NASCAR’s premier series. It will have a very different landscape compared to when the 2019 season ended in Miami in November.

While there’s a lot to breakdown for the coming season, it’s all essentially a preamble for 2021, which will see the Cup Series with its Next Gen car and potentially a very different race schedule.

Here’s what the table looks like for the Cup Series heading into 2020.

New Era, New Names

After serving in the role for three years, Monster Energy is no longer the entitlement sponsor of the Cup Series. With its departure also comes the end of the Cup Series’ entitlement sponsor model that had been in place since 1971 beginning with Winston.

After five decades of being the Winston, Nextel, Sprint and finally the Monster Energy Cup Series, the premier series will simply be called the NASCAR Cup Series.

2020 marks the start of NASCAR’s premier partner program, which includes Xfinity, Coca-Cola, Geico and Busch Beer.

Farther down on the series ladder comes the official merger of the ARCA Menards Series with NASCAR and what had been its K&N Pro Series circuits. The regional series will now be called the ARCA Menards Series East and West.

A glimpse at what Martinsville Speedway will look like at night. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Shuffling the Schedule

There’s a lot of expectations for what the Cup Series schedule will look like in 2021 after the end of NASCAR’s current five-year agreement with tracks.

But 2020 also has plenty of groundbreaking schedule developments.

– Martinsville Speedway will host its first official Cup night race on May 9. The short track also will host the final playoff elimination race for all three national series, with the Cup race held Nov. 1.

– Pocono Raceway will be the site of the Cup Series’ first ever doubleheader weekend June 27-28. Saturday’s race will be preceded by a Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series event and Sunday begins with a Xfinity Series race.

– Daytona International Speedway will host the Cup regular season finale, moving its second date from the traditional July 4 weekend to Aug. 29. The July 4 weekend race is now held by Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Cup races there July 5).

– Darlington Raceway and the Southern 500 will open the Cup playoffs on Sept. 6. It’s joined in the opening round by Richmond Raceway and in the playoffs for the first time, Bristol Motor Speedway, which will be the first elimination race.

– After being the site of the first elimination race the last two seasons, the Charlotte Roval will be the Round of 12 elimination race (Oct. 11) and be preceded by Talladega Superspeedway.

– After a nearly two-decade run, Homestead-Miami Speedway is no longer the site of the championship weekend. Its place is now held by Phoenix Raceway, with the Cup championship race scheduled for Nov. 8. Miami’s Cup race will be March 22.

– Other notable changes: The Xfinity Series will compete at Martinsville (Oct. 31) for the first time since 2004. The Truck Series returns to Richmond Raceway (April 18) for the first time since 2005.

Chevrolet Remodel

Chevrolet Cup teams will appear in Daytona with a slightly different look to their cars.

Chevy will field its Camaro ZL1 1LE model in 2020, replacing the basic ZL1 model. One reason for the change is difficulties with the latter’s pointed nose when it came to pushing other cars at Daytona and Talladega compared to Ford and Toyota and their flatter noses.

Familiar Names, Different Teams

When the full Cup Series starting grid forms for the first time at the Daytona 500, there will be a lot familiar faces sporting new numbers with new teams. That includes a rather accomplished rookie class.

– Matt DiBenedetto debuts with Wood Brothers Racing in the No. 21 Ford, moving over from Leavine Family Racing and taking over for Paul Menard, who retired from full-time racing.

– After a decade with Roush Fenway Racing, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. begins the 2020s with his first season at JTG Daugherty Racing driving the No. 47 Chevrolet. Teammate Ryan Preece will drive the No. 37. Stenhouse will have Brian Pattie as his crew chief. Preece will work with Trent Owens.

– Chris Buescher left JTG Daugherty Racing to return to Roush and race the No. 17 Ford, which was vacated by Stenhouse. Buescher will be paired with crew chief Luke Lambert.

– Christopher Bell moves up from the Xfinity Series to drive Leavine Family Racing’s No. 95 Toyota along with crew chief Jason Ratcliff. Harrison Burton replaces Bell in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 Xfinity car.

– Tyler Reddick was promoted by Richard Childress Racing to drive its No. 8 Cup car after winning the last two Xfinity Series titles. He moves up with crew chief Randall Burnett. Reddick replaces Daniel Hemric, who will drive a part-time Xfinity schedule for JR Motorsports.

Cole Custer and Mike Shiplett after their first win together in 2019. (Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images)
– Cole Custer and crew chief Mike Shiplett were promoted by Stewart-Haas Racing to take over its No. 41 Cup car, taking the place of Daniel Suarez. Suarez has not announced his plans for this season. SHR has not announced plans for its Xfinity program in 2020.

– SHR also paired crew chief Mike Bugarewicz with Aric Almirola on the No. 10 and John Klausmeier with Clint Bowyer on the No. 14.

– Rookie John Hunter Nemechek takes over Front Row Motorsports’ No. 38 Ford, which was driven by the now retired David Ragan. Nemechek is paired with Seth Barbour at crew chief.

– Rookie Brennan Poole will drive for Premium Motorsports full-time in the No. 15 car.

– After making 17 Cup starts in 2019, Quin Houff will race full-time in StarCom Racing’s No. 00 Chevrolet.

– Joey Gase and J.J. Yeley will race full-time for Rick Ware Racing.

– Martin Truex Jr. will have a new crew chief after the surprise resignation of Cole Pearn. The No. 19 team will be led by James Small.

– Team Penske shook up its crew chief lineup for this year. Paul Wolfe will now work with Joey Logano, Jeremy Bullins is paired with Brad Keselowski and Todd Gordon is paired with Ryan Blaney.

– Bubba Wallace also has a new crew chief. The Richard Petty Motorsports driver is reunited with Jerry Baxter, who he worked with in the Truck Series.

– Ryan Sparks joins Go Fas Racing after 13 years with Richard Childress Racing, primarily as an engineer, and will serve as crew chief for Corey LaJoie in the No. 32, replacing Randy Cox.

A Post-Jimmie Johnson World

Jimmie Johnson announced soon after the 2019 season finale that 2020 would be his final full-time Cup season.

That means the storyline of who will replace him in the No. 48 will simmer underneath the surface for much of the season. Who could succeed the seven-time champion?

Kyle Larson is entering the final season of his contract with Chip Ganassi Racing.

Erik Jones is racing on a one-year extension with Joe Gibbs Racing

Matt DiBenedetto is under a one-year deal with the Wood Brothers.

More possible candidates could include Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski and others.

Building for the Future

Ford provided one of the biggest storylines of the offseason when it announced that Hailie Deegan was joining the manufacturer as a development driver after a few years spent in the Toyota pipeline.

Deegan will compete full-time in ARCA Menards Series with DGR-Crosley.



Feb. 9 Daytona International Speedway (The Clash) 3 p.m. ET FS1 MRN
Feb. 13 Daytona International Speedway (Duels) 7 p.m. ET FS1 MRN
Feb. 16 Daytona International Speedway (Daytona 500) 2:30 p.m. ET FOX MRN
Feb. 23 Las Vegas Motor Speedway 3:30 p.m. ET FOX PRN
March 1 Auto Club Speedway 3:30 p.m. ET FOX MRN
March 8 ISM Raceway 3:30 p.m. ET FOX MRN
March 15 Atlanta Motor Speedway 2 p.m. ET FOX PRN
March 22 Homestead-Miami Speedway 2 p.m. ET FOX MRN
March 29 Texas Motor Speedway 2 p.m. ET FS1 PRN
April 5 Bristol Motor Speedway 2 p.m. ET FS1 PRN
April 19 Richmond Raceway 2 p.m. ET FOX MRN
April 26 Talladega Superspeedway 2 p.m. ET FOX MRN
May 3 Dover International Speedway 2 p.m. ET FS1 MRN
May 9 Martinsville Speedway 8 p.m. ET FS1 MRN
May 16 Charlotte Motor Speedway (All-Star Race) 9 p.m. ET FS1 MRN
May 24 Charlotte Motor Speedway 6 p.m. ET FOX PRN
May 31 Kansas Speedway 2 p.m. ET FS1 MRN
June 7 Michigan International Speedway 2 p.m. ET FS1 MRN
June 14 Sonoma Raceway 3 p.m. ET FS1 PRN
June 21 Chicagoland Speedway 2:30 p.m. ET NBCSN MRN
June 27 Pocono Raceway 3 p.m. ET NBCSN MRN
June 28 Pocono Raceway 3:30 p.m. ET NBCSN MRN
July 5 Indianapolis Motor Speedway 3:30 p.m. ET NBC IMS
July 11 Kentucky Speedway 7:30 p.m. ET NBCSN PRN
July 19 New Hampshire Motor Speedway 3 p.m. ET NBCSN PRN
Aug. 9 Michigan International Speedway 3 p.m. ET NBCSN MRN
Aug. 16 Watkins Glen International 3 p.m. ET NBCSN MRN
Aug. 23 Dover International Speedway 3 p.m. ET NBCSN MRN
Aug. 29 Daytona International Speedway 7:30 p.m. ET NBC MRN
Sept. 6 Darlington Raceway 6 p.m. ET NBCSN MRN
Sept. 12 Richmond Raceway 7:30 p.m. ET NBCSN MRN
Sept. 19 Bristol Motor Speedway 7:30 p.m. ET NBCSN PRN
Sept. 27 Las Vegas Motor Speedway 7 p.m. ET NBCSN PRN
Oct. 4 Talladega Superspeedway 2 p.m. ET NBC MRN
Oct. 11 Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course 2:30 p.m. ET NBC PRN
Oct. 18 Kansas Speedway 2:30 p.m. ET NBC MRN
Oct. 25 Texas Motor Speedway 3 p.m. ET NBCSN PRN
Nov. 1 Martinsville Speedway 2 p.m. ET NBC MRN
Nov. 8 ISM Raceway 3 p.m. ET NBC MRN

playallnite - 1/27/2020 at 01:12 AM

As long they continue to ban medical cannabis sponsors, use regressive technology, mostly race on ovals,they will never get any support from me. F- Bill France and his bunch of hippocrates. NASCAR has peaked.

nebish - 1/29/2020 at 04:14 AM

Good then.

We have maybe 6 or 8 members who follow racing to some degree.

Jerry - 1/29/2020 at 07:04 AM

As long they continue to ban medical cannabis sponsors, use regressive technology, mostly race on ovals,they will never get any support from me. F- Bill France and his bunch of hippocrates. NASCAR has peaked.

Nascar peaked almost 20 years ago when they went to the "Car Of Tomorrow".

Some of us old time fans that have been around since the early 60's felt that NASCAR needed to be sued for false advertising. The National Association of Stock Car Automobile Racing was no longer racing stock cars, but purpose built clones.
Same shape, same weight, pretty much same engine (none that were available in the actual car), just about as different as two Oreo cookies from the same package.
Only way to tell the different makes was by the decals on the front. No longer were Fords, Chevys, and Dodges being raced.
The old phrase "Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday" couldn't be used since none of the cars were actual STOCK.

One older guy said, "Get em in court with no decals and ask the jury which was a Ford, Chevy, or Dodge.
Then get a local dealer on the stand and ask when you could take delivery of one from his inventory. Case closed."
When they go back to original bodies, original engines that are available in that model, and watch the fellowship come back.

playallnite - 1/29/2020 at 07:28 PM

I followed and covered motor racing for nearly 20 years, Formula has gotten too corporate, love sports car racing from the 70's ( Porsche 917's, Ferrari 512's, etc.) now I've come to respect the guys that do the Isle of Man every year, really has that run what ya brung spirit.

nebish - 1/29/2020 at 07:28 PM

I don't know...if Toyota's NASCAR version of the Camry actually looked more like production the Camry I hardly doubt it would mean anything measurable to a sales bump. Before the 'car of tomorrow', did Ford actually sell more Tauruses because of NASCAR or did Dodge sell more Intrepids? The way consumer cars are built today and the way race technology and standards are today means the two simply are just not compatible. Each is made for specifically different reasons that do not share many of the same goals. If GM made the Camaro more tilted towards racing, it would lose some benefits for the average consumer. If Ford made the NASCAR version of the Mustang more like the street version, it would lose some competitiveness at the track.

That argument gets made often about how it used to be and today, that they race cars that don't resemble what people can buy. Maybe it matters to thing I'll agree with playallnite on is that NASCAR has peaked and if I have it right, said peak was some time in the late 1990s to early 2000s when tracks were adding seats like crazy. Seats that some tracks have now actually torn down because they couldn't fill them any more. Point being, you couldn't buy a production car in 2000 that looked like what they raced either.

The on track competition is better than it has ever been. People watch or care for their own reasons. I think it is fine entertainment, the only sport other than football I choose to watch actually. 4 friends of mine who also, sometimes watch, for them it is also past-peak. I used to watch baseball and basketball. Maybe some day I will have used to watch NASCAR. As for now, I like that it is less than 3 weeks away.

Jerry - 1/31/2020 at 09:01 PM

Oh I watch some races like Daytona, Talladega, Bristol, and Darlington. Glad the restrictor plate has gone away. Some of us actually told NASCAR to just race big V6 engines rather than the plates.
Middle Georgia Raceway was the place to be on any Saturday night if it wasn't raining, even in winter.
The locals didn't care if it was cold. big jackets, gloves, hot chocolate or coffee laced with moonshine made under the East entrance kept you warm.
Yes, there was a moonshine still under the East gate. Moonshine and racing were very intertwined here in the South.

nebish - 2/1/2020 at 02:38 PM

Daytona Speed Weeks is 1 week away with practices and the clash and duels.

Who wants to do fantasy again this year? There is still no yahoo fantasy racing. We have done it through nascar's website/app the last 2 or 3 years. The league from last year will likely autorenew, or we can try and find something else?

cmgst34 - 2/2/2020 at 03:31 AM

I’m super stoked. I actually thought last year was the best year in a while. Really enjoyed it.

I think this could be Chase Elliot’s true breakout year. Watching him race, win or not, is a joy. He’s the real deal and worth keying on as you watch races.

The other guy I’d put money on is Kyle Busch. I think he and his team can’t be even the least bit satisfied with the back half of the season, considering how dominant he was on the early west coast swing last year.

And of course, it’d be nice to see Jimmie win one this year.

[Edited on 2/2/2020 by cmgst34]

nebish - 2/2/2020 at 04:21 AM

Awesome! I love seeing Chase win and always want him to do well. I also like to see Ryan Blaney do well. Will be interesting with some newcomers this year (Reddick, Custer, Bell) and Matty D and Buescher moving up to more competitive teams.

Lots of good racin to come!

Some tentative plans here to go to the Texas spring race, but a lot of uncertainty on those plans.

nebish - 2/2/2020 at 04:23 AM

And regarding Kyle Busch, there is nobody I want to see win or lose more. I'm happy either way actually because it brings in the haters and the drama. Gotta have a black hat and a villain to keep things interesting.

cmgst34 - 2/10/2020 at 01:42 AM

Well. Today’s race was . . . interesting.

The one thing that stands out is how DIRTY the air got, and how quickly it got that way, when someone got close behind another. That happens in the 500, and it’s gonna be a bloodbath. Not the kind of race I’d like to see. I don’t have a problem with wrecks , but we don’t need the whole field out of the race. And not much of that was bad racing, other than Logano not letting Kyle get by — which wasn’t even that outrageous. The cars were just getting uncontrollable as they crept up on others. Heck, they were getting sideways on restarts.

The package wasn’t changed at all for this year, right? In not, I wonder what the deal was today.

[Edited on 2/10/2020 by cmgst34]

nebish - 2/11/2020 at 02:32 PM

Been away and missed all the action so far. Hopefully can watch the Duels and get ready for Sunday.

Who's playing NASCAR fantasy?

Sang - 2/11/2020 at 04:49 PM

Not me, don't really follow it. Just did it to beat my southern hillbilly buddies - but Woods and DanB have been pitiful in fantasy pools's like taking candy from a baby anymore...

DanB - 2/15/2020 at 12:32 PM

Been away and missed all the action so far. Hopefully can watch the Duels and get ready for Sunday.

Who's playing NASCAR fantasy?


nebish - 2/15/2020 at 03:47 PM

Been away and missed all the action so far. Hopefully can watch the Duels and get ready for Sunday.

Who's playing NASCAR fantasy?



It's the same league as last year. Your old name dwb222 is still there, or you can create a new one. Just sign in. The league name is Can't Lose What You Never Had and if it asks for a password that is Joey.

I will delete all the other unused names Sunday. I am expecting a group between 6-8 to be active.

cmgst34 or anyone else, if you would like to play I will be as helpful as I can.

You have to create an entry with an email and password, or I can send you a direct invite.

Sang - 2/15/2020 at 06:05 PM

...and I'll still beat DanB ......

cmgst34 - 2/16/2020 at 01:47 PM

I just signed up and set a lineup.

nebish - 2/16/2020 at 02:41 PM

Happy Daytona Day!

I see you in the league cmgst34. Welcome! I am Full Can of Sunoco Racin Fuel. I'll clean up the other users once I know who is in and who is out for sure.

Big thing is if you are playing for the first time, you can change that garage driver for one of your starters before the end of stage 2. So if there is a wreck or some driver has an issue, you can put him in the garage and potentially get better finishing points by inserting your garage driver into the starting lineup.

cmgst34 - 2/16/2020 at 05:50 PM

Got it. Thanks for the info.

PhotoRon286 - 2/17/2020 at 05:06 PM

Looks like the trump visit jinx worked nicely.

nebish - 2/18/2020 at 01:44 AM

That crash is the scariest I've ever seen for a driver. Wow just wow.

cmgst34 - 2/18/2020 at 01:54 AM

Yes. Kinda ruined the ending, obviously.

Then the coverage had to end early, because of Monday night. I really hope he’s ok.

Pretty good race all in all. I gotta say though, these super speedway wrecks that knock out 15 people, are annoying me.

And I’m tired of Logano.

Hamlin earned it fair and square though. Great pass before the first OT to take first. And mice driving to win it at the end.

nebish - 2/18/2020 at 02:07 AM

I felt the racing in the final stage was really good, especially when they dropped the green. Hated the big one.

Very exciting finish until the wreck. I mean everything, Newman passing Denny, Denny knowing he could immediately get behind Blaney and still have a shot to push him and then swing around.

Wish Newman had won.

Really wish somebody with the 11 team realized the seriousness of the situation and did not celebrate like they did. Somebody watching monitors should've seen what was going on so they didn't celebrate while they were cutting Newman out of the car. They had to cut the whole roof off and the roll cage.

This is bad. I want to hear a story about how safe the cars are and how it allows the driver to walk away. Please let us hear that story.

cmgst34 - 2/18/2020 at 02:30 AM

I’ve been listening to NASCAR radio for about the last hour on SiriusXM. It’s making me more nervous by the minute. A really scary night.

Just a real stark reminder of how dangerous this sport can be.

A friend of mine was in town yesterday, who doesn’t watch racing and was asking about wreks. And long story short I said you’ll see a bunch of wrecks but the cars are so safe these days and barely ever get off the ground anymore. We talked about Wickens at Pocono in Indycar and the F2 driver last year, and then how NASCAR these days is generally a different beast.

Then this happens and reminds you, it’s a very serious threat every time these guys step into the car.

My little boy, who started loving racing simply because of the M&M car catching his attention watched every lap with me tonight, and when that happened says “I don’t ever want to watch racing again.” Just a very scary and somber night for sure.

[Edited on 2/18/2020 by cmgst34]

nebish - 2/18/2020 at 03:09 AM

I'm listening too. Serious condition, non-life-threatening injuries was the statement just now.

cmgst34 - 2/18/2020 at 03:16 AM

Just heard it. A great relief.

Stephen - 2/18/2020 at 04:29 AM

Just a horrific wreck, it looked as tho the driver’s side took 2 hard hits, & for the driver to have escaped with serious but non life threatening injuries is a great relief, & would sure seem to point up to the safety these cars are built with from the ground up

nebish - 2/19/2020 at 06:48 PM

Wow. So awesome!

Ryan Newman Continues Great Improvement

Ryan Newman continues to show great improvement after Monday night’s last-lap accident at Daytona International Speedway.

The veteran driver is fully alert and walking around Halifax Medical Center. True to his jovial nature, he has also been joking around with staff, friends and family while spending time playing with his two daughters.

Ryan continues to express his appreciation for the outpouring of support from across the country, and he and his family are grateful for the immense level of support that has been provided by the NASCAR community and beyond.

We will continue to provide information as it becomes available.

cmgst34 - 2/19/2020 at 10:06 PM

I just read that he’s been released.

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