2020 NASCAR Cup Series Season Starts with Daytona 500 this Sunday

62nd Running of the Daytona 500 logo
(Logo courtesy of NASCARmedia.com)

The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season will officially begin with the running of the 62nd Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

There are package changes for the cars for this season. There are driver changes in the cars this season. There is one change that will come after this season. Jimmie Johnson is running his last full-time season as a driver. All of this could make for a very interesting start to the year in the Great American Race!

Last Sunday (2/9) 18 drivers competed in the “Busch Clash at Daytona” exhibition race. Near the end the calamities that ensued left just six cars running at the conclusion of the race. Now there were no points to be won, just money and bragging rights. That could make things different this weekend … or possibly not.

Here is what the drivers will be dealing with that is constant across the board.

Daytona International Speedway Data
Track Size: 2.5 miles
Banking/Corners: 31 degrees
Banking/Straights: 3 degrees
Banking/Tri-Oval: 18 degrees

Daytona 500 Race Data
Race #: 1 of 36 (2-16-20)
Total Race Length: 500 miles (200 laps)
Stage 1 Length: 162.5 miles (65 laps)
Stage 2 Length: 162.5 miles (65 laps)
Final Stage Length: 175 miles (70 laps)

Here are the top 10 active drivers for this track.

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Daytona

  • Kyle Busch – 91.2
  • Denny Hamlin – 87.8
  • Jimmie Johnson – 87.2
  • Kurt Busch – 87.1
  • Joey Logano – 87.0
  • Ryan Blaney – 86.7
  • Kevin Harvick – 83.2
  • William Byron – 83.1
  • Clint Bowyer – 78.4
  • Brad Keselowski – 78.2
    Note: Driver Ratings are compiled from 2005-2019 races (30 total) at Daytona (active drivers only).

Here are the active drivers who have won during their careers in NASCAR’s top division at this track.

Active Drivers who have Won the Daytona 500

  • Denny Hamlin – 2 Wins (including 2019 race)
  • Jimmie Johnson – 2 Wins
  • Austin Dillon – 1 Win
  • Joey Logano – 1 Win
  • Kevin Harvick – 1 Win
  • Kurt Busch – 1 Win
  • Ryan Newman – 1 Win

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has already won the pole for the start of the 2020 Daytona 500. Alex Bowman qualified to start in the front row alongside of Ricky. The rest of the starting grid will be set by today’s (2/13) Duels at Daytona.

Will this season be exciting for the fans? Will it be exciting for the drivers and teams? Will Jimmie Johnson leave on top? Which of the younger stars of NASCAR will start showing they are tomorrow’s SUPER stars of the sport?

We will begin to get a glimpse at what the answers may be to those question Sunday, February 16th starting at 1:30 PM central time (2:30 PM eastern time) with the Daytona 500.

By: Buck Stevens