2020 NASCAR Panasonic Cup Series (Johnsonverse)
The 2020 NASCAR Panasonic Cup Series was 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 with the Harley-Davidson 250 at Road America, followed by the events leading into the Daytona 500, and closed with the Sony 500 at Tokyo Superspeedway. Tony Stewart clinched his sixth championship after winning the Pepsi 400.
It was announced that 2020 will be the last full-time season for seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson as well as for Clint Bowyer and part time driver Brendan Gaughan. David Ragan, who retired from racing in NASCAR full-time after 2019, returned this season for the Daytona 500 in the Cup Series (driving for Rick Ware Racing in a partnership with his former team, Front Row Motorsports), as well as in a few Truck Series races (driving for DGR-Crosley). This is also the first Cup Series season without Jamie McMurray since 2001 and Paul Menard since 2004.
This season was scheduled to be the final year for the original Strictly Stock Car, with the Strictly Stock Car II debuting in 2021. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic postponed all NASCAR racing (and therefore, testing) until the month of May, the sanctioning body announced that the debut of the new car would be pushed back a year to 2022.
Teams and drivers
|Chevrolet||Hendrick Motorsports||5||Alex Bowman||Camaro||Goodyear||Nationwide
Kelley Blue Book
|48||Jimmie Johnson (42)||Lowe's|
|Justin Allgaier (1)|
|JTG Daugherty Racing||37||Ryan Reed||Malibu||Firestone||Kroger|
|47||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Kroger|
|Richard Childress Racing||3||Austin Dillon (42)||Camaro||Goodyear||DOW
Bass Pro Shops
|Anthony Alfredo (1)|
|33||Tyler Reddick (R)||Bass Pro Shops|
|Dale Earnhardt Inc.||8||Jeffrey Earnhardt||Camaro||Hoosier||Budweiser|
|StarCom Racing||99||Quin Houff||Malibu||Dunlop|
|Phoenix Racing||09||Scott Heckert||Malibu||Pirelli|
|Ford||Front Row Motorsports||34||Michael McDowell||Mustang||Michelin|
|Go Fas Racing||32||Corey Lajoie||Mustang||Goodyear (19)
|Roush Fenway Racing||6||Ryan Newman||Roush Mustang||Goodyear||Advocare|
|Brown Hornet Racing||164||Hal Dixon||Mustang||Hoosier|
|Toyota||GMS Racing||83||Spencer Gallagher||Avalon||Dunlop|
|Joe Gibbs Racing||11||Denny Hamlin||Camry||Goodyear||FedEx|
|19||Martin Truex Jr.||Bass Pro Shops|
|Dodge||Team Penske||2||Brad Keselowski||Charger||Goodyear|
|Evernham Motorsports||93||Kasey Kahne||Charger||Hoosier|
|Chip Ganassi Racing||1||Kurt Busch||Challenger||Goodyear||Monster Energy|
|42||Kyle Larson (5)||Target
Credit One Bank
|Matt Kenseth (38)|
|Rusty Wallace Racing||102||Steve Wallace||Challenger||Cooper|
|Plymouth||Richard Petty Motorsports||43||Darrell Wallace Jr.||Road Runner (tracks shorter than one mile and road courses)
Superbird (tracks one mile and longer)
|Spinner-Marcis Auto Racing||171||Zack Brady||Falken|
|Pontiac||Stewart-Haas Racing||4||Kevin Harvick||Grand Prix||Hoosier||Jimmy John's
Hunt Brothers Pizza
|14||Tony Stewart||Home Depot
Bass Pro Shops
Rush Truck Centers
|41||Cole Custer (R)||Haas Automation|
|The Money Team Racing||46||Michael Annett||Firebird||Michelin||Pilot
|Oldsmobile||Morgan-McClure Motorsports||04||Jimmy Weller III (R)||Cutlass||Toyo||Kodak|
|Stavola Bros. Racing||08||Carl Maggio||Hoosier||Circuit City|
|Mercury||Wood Brothers Racing||21||Matt DiBenedetto||Cyclone||Goodyear||Motorcraft
|Studebaker||Del-War Inc.||172||Ray Black Jr.||Commander||Cooper||Western Auto|
|Geyser||Orange County Racing||86||Jed Thomas||Hawk||Pirelli|
|Honda||Doug Yates Racing||28||Elliott Sadler||Civic||Goodyear||Texaco|
|Leavine Family Racing||95||Ryan Reed||Accord||Hoosier||Eli Lilly and Company|
|BMW||Team Ohio Racing||64||Kelly Walker||M4||Dunlop|
|Germain Racing||13||Ryan Newman (39)||Toyo||Geico|
|Ross Chastain (4)|
|Nissan||MAG Incorporated||58||Lyle White||Sentra||Michelin|
|Stash Motorsports||91||Bo Abraham||Hoosier|
|Buick||Bobby Allison Racing||12||Dakoda Armstrong||Regal||Michelin|
|Rossi Racing||50||BJ Fisher||Firestone|
|Rudd Performance Motorsports||110||Mike Murphy||Toyo|
|Cadillac||Red Tiger Motorsports with Sterling Marlin||170||Tracy Johnson||CT5-V||Dunlop|
|Parsons Motorsports||16||TJ Bell||Michelin|
|Lincoln||Rick Ware Racing||51||Joey Gase||Continental||Yokohama|
|Hedrick Racing||141||Dexter Bean||Pirelli||Kodiak|
|Audi||NY Racing Team||174||J.J. Yeley||A7||Hoosier|
|Marchesi Racing||176||Mark Marchesi||General Tire|
|Maserati||Cale Yarborough Racing||94||Simon Stevens||GranTurismo||Falken|
|Slick Poly Racing||69||Mike Maier||Michelin|
|Jaguar||Travis Carter Enterprises||23||Ben Rhodes||XE||Firestone||Kmart|
|Ken Schrader Racing||52||Josh Berry||Goodyear||Federated Auto Parts|
|Porsche||Kenny Bernstein Racing||26||Harrison Rhodes||Boxster||Bridgestone||Quaker State|
|NEMCO Racing with Carl Long||187||John Hunter Nemechek||991||Yokohama|
|Hillman Racing||104||Landon Cassill||Boxter||Michelin|
|Kia||Junior Johnson Racing||27||BJ McCleod||Optima||Firestone|
|Labonte Bros. Racing||96||Justin Labonte||Pirelli|
|Aston Martin||Delma Cowart Racing||0||Noah Howe (C)||DB11 Superleggera||Dunlop|
|Butch Jones Enterprises with Geoffrey Bodine||162||Clay Jones||Toyo|
|Hyundai||Robby Gordon Motorsports||07||Takuma Sato||Aslan||Firestone||Speed Energy|
|Spire Motorsports||178||Ross Chastain (2)
|Chevrolet||StarCom Racing||05||Kip Branch||2013 Chevrolet SS||28||Dunlop|
|Beard Motorsports||62||Brendan Gaughan||2017 Impala||4||Firestone|
|Tommy Baldwin Racing||7||Ryan Truex||Camaro||30||Dunlop|
|Kaulig Racing||168||Justin Haley||2017 Camaro||1||Kumho|
|DeLorean||DeLorean Racing Development||178||Walt Espnoza||DMC-13||5||Goodyear|
|Dodge||Arrington Racing||182||Bayley Currey||2018 Charger||4||Hoosier|
|MBM Motorsports||06||Timmy Hill||2017 Challenger||21||Goodyear|
|Pontiac||Jonathan Byrd's Racing with
|Honda||Obaika Racing||101||Sheldon Creed||2018 Accord||18||Bridgestone|
|Lincoln||Rick Ware Racing||154||Lula Cobb||Continental||6||General Tire|
|Aston Martin||Gaunt Brothers Racing||127||Daniel Suarez||DB11 Superleggera||15||Goodyear|
- On June 3, 2019, Morgan-McClure Motorsports announced its rebirth, with driver Jimmy Weller III driving the #04 Kodak Oldsmobile Cutlass.
- 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. It would most likely be the No. 53 team that would run full time (to continue adding cars in numerical order). The No. 53 as well as their No. 54, a fourth car for the team, both ran part time schedules in 2019.
- On October 25, 2019, it was reported that boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. is interested in starting a new NASCAR Cup Series team called The Money Team Racing. On January 23, 2020, hours before first practice for the Harley-Davidson 250 began, Mayweather announced that the team would run a full-time schedule with the #46 Pontiac driven by Michael Annett.
- Evernham Motorsports expanded to a four-car team, landing Wade Davis, Richie Reed, and Stan Mullis to join Kasey Kahne.
- On June 7, 2019, Jeb Burton was reportedly working on extending his one-year contract with Stewart-Haas Racing. On October 5, Burton stated that he and Stewart-Haas are getting close to an agreement.
- 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 Busch 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. 33 Chevrolet for the 2020 season.
- On July 20, 2019, Tommy Joe Martins confirmed he moved to MBM Motorsports with plans to run numerous Busch Series races in 2019 and 2020, and potentially a Cup race(s) in the near future.
- On July 28, 2019, Joe Gibbs hinted at renewing Erik Jones' contract with Joe Gibbs Racing. On August 15, Jones confirmed that he is close to getting a deal done to extend his deal with JGR for the 2020 season. On September 2, when asked about Jones' contract situation, Gibbs responded, "He has a deal with us." On September 6, 2019, Jones' contract extension was finally officially announced, which runs for the one additional season of 2020.
- On August 13, 2019, it was reported that Matt DiBenedetto may not return to Go FAS Racing in 2020, with rumors that the No. 32 Ford (model TBA) 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 GFR 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.
- On August 16, 2019, Ryan Reed confirmed he will return to the JTG Daugherty Racing No. 47 Chevrolet for the 2020 season.
- On August 17, 2019, Aric Almirola confirmed that he is signed with the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 10 Pontiac 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 fifth car full time, Hemric may lose his ride 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, before reversing course and announcing Hemric would run the No. 29 Chevrolet, with sponsorship coming from Doritos.
- 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 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 Mercury 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. In terms of who could replace Buescher in the No. 37 for JTGD, team co-owner Brad Daugherty said to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that the team "would like to find (a driver) with some experience (so the team) can continue to grow. We’ve taken good steps with that 37 car this year, really positive steps. We’d like to continue that. We don’t want to go backwards. It’s a tough situation to be in as an owner and a team, but we’re pretty resilient and we’ll figure it out. We’re going to give somebody a heck of an opportunity.”
- On October 16, 2019, JTG Daugherty Racing announced that they signed Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to a multi-year deal starting in 2020.
- On November 27, 2019, it was announced that Quin Houff would drive the No. 99 Chevrolet for StarCom Racing full-time in 2020 and 2021, replacing Ralph Higgins, who was fired after he was arrested for possession of child pornography. 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. Kip Branch will continue driving a part-time schedule in the team's unique "Frankenstein's Car" (consisting of a 2013 Car of Tomorrow body on a Strictly Stock Car chassis, the only Car of Tomorrow still running in the Cup Series; in response to this holdout, NASCAR will ban any CoT bodies from running after 2020, Lend-Lease entries notwithstanding).
- 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. The team's number is not yet known, though they have announced they will be running a Pontiac Firebird.
- On December 20, 2019, Rick Ware Racing announced that Joey Gase will drive their sole car full-time in 2020. After many years running full-time in the Busch Series, this is Gase's first full season in Cup.
- 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 Dodge 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 February 17, 2020, Ryan Newman was injured in a last-lap flip across the finish line at the Daytona 500. Ross Chastain will drive for the team at Rockingham. Newman returned for the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington.
- 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 (though this decision was made without Tim Johnson's approval; Tim was within minutes of reversing the ruling before Chloe reminded him that it could hurt their father's presidential campaign if he defended racism, which is a major part of Sheldon's platform), and multiple corporations such as McDonald's, Credit One Bank, and Dodge also terminated their sponsorship of Larson (several smaller companies who sponsor Larson in sprint cars chose to stay with him). The following day, Ganassi outright fired Larson. Though Ross Chastain was considered the favorite, having driven for Ganassi in the Busch Series prior to the DC Solar scandal, it was announced on April 27, 2020 that Matt Kenseth would come back to drive the #42 Dodge for the rest of the season.
- On July 3, 2020, it was announced that Jimmie Johnson tested positive for COVID-19, forcing him to miss the 2020 Brickyard 400. Busch Series driver Noah Gragson was announced as his replacement for the race. On July 8, 2020, Johnson was cleared to race after testing negative twice that week.
- On August 15, 2020, it was announced that Austin Dillon tested positive for COVID-19, forcing him to miss the Atlanta Grand Prix. Anthony Alfredo was announced as his replacement for the race.
- On October 31, 2019, Chevrolet announced a new Cup body based on the Camaro ZL1 1LE. The body was approved in Summer 2019. Chevrolet said the main goal was a flatter nose, as the pointed nose of the baseline ZL1 caused the Big One at plate tracks throughout 2018 and 2019 when attempting to push.
- Pontiac, Mercury, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Studebaker, and Geyser will return to full-time NASCAR competition. It has been confirmed that Stewart-Haas Racing will switch from Chevrolet to Pontiac (as Tony Stewart had won his 2002 Winston Cup championship in a Pontiac), Wood Brothers Racing will switch from Ford to Mercury (as their glory days in the 1970s had them running Mercurys), Richard Petty Motorsports will switch from Dodge to Plymouth (due to Richard Petty's legendary association with the Superbird), and the newly-reopened Morgan-McClure Motorsports will run Oldsmobile. NASCAR marketed their return as "Manufacturer Critical Mass".
- Cadillac switched from the recently-discontinued CTS-V to the CT5-V.
- Multiple teams switched manufacturers in what was described as the "Great Charm Offensive of 2020". Among the changes were Stavola Bros. Racing switching to Oldsmobile, Rudd Performance Motorsports switching to Buick after a charm offensive to compensate for the closure of the #153 team at Bobby Allison Racing, Spinner-Marcis Auto Racing switching to Plymouth, Del-War Inc. switched to Studebaker as the only confirmed Studebaker team for 2020, and Hillman Racing switched to Porsche.
- On January 5, 2020, Richard Childress Racing announced it would be switching back to the Camaro, believing the Malibu's performance was subpar compared to the discontinued Impala.
- Dodge discontinued use of the Neon for superspeedway races after plans to sell the car in the United States and Canada were scrapped in response to General Motors and Ford paring down their passenger car lineups in favor of SUVs and pickup trucks (which has consequently seen a sharp rise in the amount of factory support for NASCAR's truck and SUV divisions).
- On July 29, 2019, DeLorean announced that it would debut in NASCAR. Much like how Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Mercury, Plymouth, Studebaker, and Geyser all fielded developmental cars in 2019 for five races, DeLorean will run six races (Daytona, Charlotte, North Wilkesboro, Brands Hatch, Indianapolis, and Pocono) for 2020 with Crissy Hillsworth from the Arby's Convertible Division and Walt Espnoza from the Howard Johnson's SUV Series driving the DMC-12 and DMC-13, respectively. Hillsworth and Espnoza will drive full-time for the revived Team Red Bull for the 2021 season.
- On June 14, 2020, hours before the Dixie Vodka 400, General Motors announced it would be pulling all Buick factory support due to the imminent discontinuation of the Regal outside of the South China market. GM will instead expand Cadillac's presence in NASCAR in 2021 with the CT6-V. Later, after the race, Ford announced it was pulling Lincoln after 2020, and that all Lincoln teams will instead run the Shelby GT500. This was because none of the coupes tested were deemed suitable for NASCAR competition. Some leftover Buicks and Lincolns may still be run by small teams in 2021 and beyond, without any factory support.
The schedule for the 2020 season was released in April 2019.
|1||Harley-Davidson 250||Road America, Lake Elkhart||January 26||WBC|
|Busch Clash||Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach||WBC|
|Gatorade Twin 125’s||WBC|
|3||Dodge Challenger 400||Rockingham Speedway, Rockingham||WBC|
|4||Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube||Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas||Fox|
|5||TicketGuardian 500||ISM Speedway, Avondale||Fox|
|6||Auto Club 400||Auto Club Speedway, Fontana||Fox|
|7||Dixie Vodka 400||Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead||Fox|
|8||McCormick Canada 500||Delaware Speedway, London, Ontario||WBC|
|9||Food City 500||Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol||FS1|
|10||Toyota Owners 400||Richmond Raceway, Richmond||Fox|
|11||GEICO Talladega 500||Talladega Superspeedway, Lincoln||WBC|
|12||Gander RV 400||Dover International Speedway, Dover||FS1|
|13||STP 500||Martinsville Speedway, Ridgeway||FS1|
|Panasonic Open||Charlotte Motor Speedway, Charlotte||FS1|
|14||Coca-Cola World 600||WBC|
|15||Tyson Holly Farms 400||North Wilkesboro Speedway, North Wilkesboro||WBC|
|16||QuikTrip Motegi 400||Twin Ring Motegi, Motegi||WBC|
|17||Geyser/SaveMart 350||Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma||WBC|
|18||Camping World 400||Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet||NBC|
|Tokyo Late Model Classic||Tokyo Superspeedway, Tama||WBC|
|20||Sony Firecracker 500||WBC|
|21||Big Machine Vodka at the Brickyard 400||Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Speedway||WBC|
|22||Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart||Kentucky Speedway, Spartan||NBC|
|23||Foxwood Resort Casino 300||New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon||NBC|
|24||Pocono 400||Pocono Raceway, Long Pond||WBC|
|25||Go Bowling at the Glen||Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen||WBC|
|Circuit City Summer Shootout||Tokyo Superspeedway, Tama||WBC|
|26||Consumer Energy 400||Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn||WBC|
|27||World Wildlife Foundation 500||Lucas Oil Raceway, Brownsburg||NBC|
|28||British NASCAR Grand Prix presented by Domestos||Brands Hatch, Kent, England||WBC|
|29||Southern 500||Darlington Speedway, Darlington||WBC|
|30||Raya and the Dragon 400||Walt Disney World Speedway, Lake Buena Vista||WBC|
|31||Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer 400||Milwaukee Mile, West Allis||NBC|
|32||Welcome to the Wayne 400||Nazareth Speedway, Nazareth||WBC|
|33||Susan G. Komen for the Cure 250||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Complex, Lexington||WBC|
|34||Music City USA 420||Fairgrounds Speedway, Nashville||WBC|
|35||1000Bulbs.com 500||Talladega Superspeedway, Lincoln||WBC|
|36||Hollywood Casino 400||Kansas Speedway, Kansas City||NBC|
|37||Iowa Corn 400||Iowa Speedway, Newton||WBC|
|38||AAA Texas 500||Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth||NBC|
|39||PrimeStar 500||Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton||NBC|
|40||Pepsi 400||Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach||Fox|
The 2020 schedule for the NASCAR Panasonic Cup Series will undergo a series of significant changes.
- The PrimeStar 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway will no longer serve as the final race of the season as it was in 2019, instead being the penultimate race.
- After 21 years of being NASCAR's Fourth of July weekend event (and 60 of 61 years overall), the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway will become the final race of the season. Tim Johnson explained he wanted the season to have a "perfect bookend". The Daytona split in place between WBC and Fox will remain through the end of the current television contract.
- The STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway will be run under the lights for the first time on May 9, Mother's Day Weekend.
- The Tyson Holly Farms 400, will move to May 31, 2020, after the Coca-Cola 600.
- Both events at Tokyo Superspeedway will be run on consecutive days the weekend of July 4-5, marking the first time a Cup Series race has been run on Independence Day since 2009. As a result, the Daytona Late Model Classic will return to Tokyo.
- The Geyser/Save Mart 350 will move one week earlier than 2018.
- There will be two off weeks between Loudon and Michigan so WBC won't have to compete with the NBC networks' coverage of the 2020 Summer Olympics, meaning the off week for the U.S. Open Golf Championships that Fox instituted will be removed. WBC will instead run the Circuit City Summer Showdown during this period.
- The Auto Club 400 at Auto Club 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. Prior to this announcement, Tim Johnson contemplated having the drivers run these races using Ultimate NASCAR, but ultimately decided to instead run doubleheaders later in the season. To facilitate this, he ordered Talladega Superspeedway to install a lighting system so the GEICO 500 could be run after the Sugarland Shine 250 SuperTruck race, then run the 1000Bulbs.com 500 the next day.
- On April 30, 2020, Tim Johnson appeared on Hello World to announce the return of NASCAR racing on May 17. Races will be run at Darlington, Charlotte, and North Wilkesboro, and will see the revival of the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400, TranSouth Financial 500, Bank of America 500, and First Union 400. Consideration is also being given for running races at Daytona, Homestead, Walt Disney World, and New Smyrna (which has never hosted a NASCAR race outside of the Sears All-American Racing Series). All races will be held without fans and, except for the Coca-Cola 600, the field will be set by owners points instead of heat races. To facilitate this, the Geyser/SaveMart 350 and Camping World 400 were cancelled, and it was also announced that the Toyota Owners 400 would not be made up (the cancellation and subsequent staffing layoffs have put Chicagoland's future in question; Tim stated that if Chicagoland were shut down, he would move its race to the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds Racetrack, which is currently run by the ARCA Menards Series and USAC Silver Crown Series, which would not only keep the date in Illinois, but also add a dirt track to the Cup schedule, something he feels is overdue; several Tim confirmed that several dirt track races will be added on the 2021 schedule, while Chicagoland will indeed remain on the schedule); further cancellations may follow, and this schedule is subject to change based on whether or not any drivers, crew, or track staff get infected.
- On May 14, 2020, further races were announced, to be held at Bristol, Atlanta, Martinsville, Martinsville, Homestead-Miami, and Talladega; despite the latter going ahead, the lighting system installation will continue.
- More races were announced on June 4, adding a doubleheader at Pocono in place of the Tokyo doubleheader (as Kantō has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and thus the doubleheader will be moved to later in the season, possibly to the weekend after Thanksgiving to serve as the season finale), Indianapolis, Kentucky, the All-Star Race (which will be held at Daytona instead of Charlotte, along with the Daytona Late Model Classic), Texas World Speedway (marking the first NASCAR-sanctioned race there since 1981), Memphis (hosting its first-ever Cup series event, and first NASCAR race since 2009), Rockingham (marking the first time Rockingham has hosted two Cup races in one season since 2003), and New Hampshire.
- On July 6, 2020, it was announced that the inaugural McCormick Canada 500 was cancelled, but would be run in 2021; the race was pushed back to 2022 due to travel restrictions.
- On July 8, 2020, it was announced that Dover and Michigan would hold doubleheaders, and that Road Atlanta in Braselton, GA, and Utah Motorsports Campus in Grantsville, UT, would hold their first-ever NASCAR Cup Series events, with the latter race being the first-ever NASCAR-sanctioned event held in Utah, and the former being the first NASCAR-sanctioned event at Road Atlanta since the Busch Series ran here in 1987. The GoBowling at The Glen was cancelled due to New York's aggressive quarantine measures.
- On August 6, 2020, the remainder of the schedule was announced, confirming that the Tokyo doubleheader would be the season finale, to be run the weekend after Thanksgiving. The other races will be run as originally scheduled.
|1||Harley-Davidson 250||Road America, Lake Elkhart||WBC|
|Busch Clash||Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach||WBC|
|Gatorade Twin 125's||WBC|
|3||Dodge Challenger 400||Rockingham Speedway, Rockingham||WBC|
|4||Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube||Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas||Fox|
|5||Ticket Guardian 500||Phoenix Speedway, Avondale||Fox|
|6||Carolina Dodge Dealers 400||Darlington Speedway, Darlington||WBC|
|7||TranSouth Financial 500||FS1|
|8||Coca-Cola World 600||Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord||WBC|
|9||Bank of America 500||FS1|
|10||First Union 400||North Wilkesboro Speedway, North Wilkesboro||WBC|
|11||Food City 500||Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol||Fox|
|12||Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500||Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton||Fox|
|13||STP 500||Martinsville Speedway, Ridgeway||FS1|
|14||Dixie Vodka 400||Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead||Fox|
|15||GEICO 500||Talladega Superspeedway, Lincoln||WBC|
|16||Pocono Organics 325||Pocono Raceway, Long Pond||WBC|
|18||Brickyard 400||Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Speedway||WBC|
|19||Quaker State 400||Kentucky Speedway, Sparta||FS1|
|Daytona Late Model Classic||Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach||WBC|
|20||Texas 400||Texas World Speedway, College Station||WBC|
|21||Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs 400||Memphis International Raceway, Memphis||TNN|
|22||Chevron 400||Rockingham Speedway, Rockingham||WBC|
|23||Foxwood Resort Casino 300||New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon||NBC|
|24||Firekeeper Casino 500||Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn||WBC|
|25||Consumer Energy 500|
|26||Atlanta Grand Prix||Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, Braselton||WBC|
|27||Gander RV 500||Dover International Speedway, Dover||FS1|
|29||Utah Grand Prix||Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele||WBC|
|30||Southern 500||Darlington Raceway, Darlington||WBC|
|31||Raya and the Dragon 400||Walt Disney World Speedway, Lake Buena Vista||WBC|
|32||Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer 400||Milwaukee Mile, West Allis||NBC|
|33||Welcome to the Wayne 400||Nazareth Speedway, Nazareth||WBC|
|34||Susan G. Komen for the Cure 250||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Complex, Lexington||WBC, Cartoon Network|
|35||Music City USA 420||Fairgrounds Speedway, Nashville||WBC|
|36||YellaWood 500||Talladega Superspeedway, Lincoln||WBC|
|37||Hollywood Casino 400||Kansas Speedway, Kansas City||NBC, WBC|
|38||Iowa Corn 400||Iowa Speedway, Newton||WBC|
|39||AAA Texas 500||Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth||NBC|
|40||PrimeStar 500||Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton||NBC|
|41||Pepsi 400||Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach||Fox|
|42||Tokyo 500||Tokyo Superspeedway, Tama||WBC|
|Auto Club 400||Auto Club Speedway, Fontana||Fox|
|Toyota Owners 400||Richmond Raceway, Richmond||Fox|
|Geyser/SaveMart 350||Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma||WBC|
|Circuit City Summer Shootout||Tokyo Superspeedway, Tama||WBC|
|Camping World 400||Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet||NBC|
|McCormick Canada 500||Delaware Speedway, London, Ontario||WBC|
|Go Bowling at The Glen||Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen||WBC|
|British NASCAR Grand Prix presented by Domestos||Brands Hatch, Kent, England||WBC|
Round 1: Harley-Davidson 250
Takuma Sato started on the pole, giving Hyundai its first pole. During the parade laps, news broke that Kobe Bryant had been killed in a helicopter crash, and Tim Johnson gave the order for the WBC booth to go silent at Lap 24 in his honor; as it was short-notice, the silent lap was not announced on-air, and Bryant's death wasn't announced until Lap 25, when Ken Squier broke the news; as if by an act of God, William Byron was leading during the silent lap, and would lead the most laps that day. The hotly-contested race was decided in a last-lap pass when Cole Custer pulled a bump-and-run on Byron for his first Cup Series win, as well as Pontiac's first NASCAR win since the 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 400.
In Daytona 500 qualifying, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won the pole with Alex Bowman qualifying second.
In the Busch Clash, Ryan Newman started on pole. Brad Keselowski led the most laps, but got into the wall. Joey Logano was leading, but got into the wall after contact with Kyle Busch. 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, running with a damaged front end, made a last lap pass on Newman with help from Hamlin for the win. Out of the 16 cars that started the race, only six finished, these being Jones, Austin Dillon, Tony Stewart, Larson, Ryan Newman, and Hamlin, who was off the lead lap.
In the Gatorade Duel, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. led the first Duel. Daniel Suarez 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. Suarez, Yeley, Randall Park, Chad Finchum, Kyle Krisiloff, and a record 98 Lend-Lease entries (including Dale Jarrett, Harry Gant, and Rusty Wallace) failed to make the race. Richard Petty, driving a Lend-Lease Plymouth Superbird, qualified in ninth in his bid for win #201.
Round 2: Daytona 500
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. started on the pole. The race ran for 20 laps before the red flag was shown for rain, and by 6:50 PM EST, the decision was made to postpone the race to 4 PM EST on Monday, marking the second Daytona 500 delayed to Monday, the first being the infamous 2012 running that sparked massive change in NASCAR. The four Plymouth Superbirds in the field, as well as an older Superbird driven by Richard Petty in his first NASCAR start since the 1992 Hooter's 500, dominated for most of the day. William Byron spun and slammed the wall after contact with polesitter Stenhouse. Stenhouse was hit from behind coming to pit road. 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, Matt DiBenedetto, Dakoda Armstrong, defending series champion Noah Howe, Takuma Sato, Bill Fuller, Randall Park, Bryan Clauson, and eight Lend-Lease entries. Ross Chastain had a tire go down and collected Joey Logano, Ryan Preece, Ty Dillon, Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell, Beau Philips, Vinnie Miller, Carl Maggio, Matt Rhodes, Dexter Bean, Matt Mill, and three Lend-Lease entries. Clint Bowyer and Michael McDowell spun sending the race to overtime. Ryan Newman took the lead from Tony Stewart 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. Stewart edged Blaney at the line for his third 500 win in six years and his second consecutive Daytona 500 win, becoming the first driver since Sterling Marlin to win back-to-back 500s; it was also Stewart's first win in a Pontiac since the 2002 Sirius Satellite Radio at the Glen, and Pontiac's first Daytona 500 win since Cale Yarborough's win in 1983. Richard Petty, driving a Lend-Lease 1970 Plymouth Superbird, finished third. Newman was found unresponsive and was removed from the car and was rushed to the hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries; he was awake and talking to family and doctors by the next day, and by Wednesday, had been released. Following the race, Ken Squier spoke with Tim Johnson on the air via telephone, during which time Tim ordered WBC to go to wall-to-wall coverage until an update on Newman was available, and also warned everyone not to spread rumors and fake news on social media. Later, during the press conference where Newman's condition was announced, Tim also ripped into those who ignored him and spread rumors of Newman's supposed death, as well as on Fireside Chat with Tim Johnson the next night. LaJoie was also injured in the crash, complaining of testicular pain en route to the infield care center.
Round 3: Dodge Challenger 400
Tony Stewart won the pole after qualifying was cancelled due to rain. Chase Elliott dominated early. 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 Penske's second straight win at Rockingham, and Dodge's first points win of 2020.
Round 4: Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube
Tony Stewart started on pole for the second week in a row. Clint Bowyer brought out the caution after having a tire go down. Kyle Larson got into the wall after contact with Denny Hamlin, but was able to keep going. Hamlin made contact with the wall. Alex Bowman took the lead from Martin Truex Jr. and continued to lead with Ryan 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, and Chevrolet's first points win of 2020.
Round 5: Ticket Guardian 500
Chase Elliott started on the pole. Ryan Blaney slammed the wall after making contact with Denny Hamlin and collected Brad Keselowski. Erik Jones got into the wall. 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 was passed with two laps to go by defending series champion Noah Howe for his first win of the season, as well as Aston Martin's first win of 2020.
Season paused for two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic
The sixth race of the season was supposed to be the 2020 Auto Club 400. Prior to the Fontana race, NASCAR announced that no fans would be permitted to attend it due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, once it became clear how easily the virus spread and how mismanaged the pandemic would be by the Donald Trump administration, 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 6: Carolina Dodge Dealers 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. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wrecked on the first lap of the race. Jimmie Johnson was leading but wrecked after contact with Chris Buescher. Kevin Harvick led the most laps and won the race, his second win at Darlington and 50th career win.
Round 7: TranSouth Financial 500
The second race to air during prime time this season also saw no fans in the stands much like the previous race. The top 20 from the Carolina Dodge Dealers was reversed, which meant Ryan Preece started on pole by virtue of his 20th place finish on Sunday. 21 through 40 were inverted to make up the remaining half of the grid. The Tommy Baldwin Racing entry driven by Josh Bilicki did not enter this race which meant only 50 cars started. J. J. Yeley and Gray Gaulding started in the rear due to them not participating in the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400.
The race saw Preece, the pole sitter, blow a motor early in the going and fail to finish. Tony Stewart led the most laps. Denny Hamlin was leading when the final caution came out with twenty-eight laps to go when Chase Elliott made contact with Kyle Busch and spun into the inside wall. During the caution period rain started to fall which caused NASCAR to red flag the race. With twenty laps remaining (and a fox running around on the frontstretch), NASCAR declared Hamlin the winner. This was Hamlin's first victory of the season, as well as Toyota's first points win of the season.
Round 8: Coca-Cola World 600
This race occurred on its originally scheduled date of May 24 but will be the first race since the COVID-19 pandemic to feature qualifying as part of a one day show. Kurt Busch started on pole for the race. At the beginning of the race, Denny Hamlin lost ballast from his car and was forced to pit, resulting in him starting the race multiple laps down. The race was red-flagged due to rain during the first stage. Alex Bowman won the first stage of the race under caution after Clint Bowyer got into the wall. Bowman also won the second stage of the race. Joey Logano won the third stage of the race. Chase Elliott was leading late in the race when William Byron spun with two laps to go, setting up an overtime finish. Elliott and several cars came to pit road while other drivers stayed out. Brad Keselowski took the lead and won the race in overtime. Jimmie Johnson crossed the finish line 2nd but failed post-race inspection, resulting in him being disqualified and finishing the race in last place.
Round 9: Bank of America 500
The race was postponed from Wednesday to Thursday due to rain. The top 20 from the Coca-Cola 600 was inverted, which meant that William Byron started on pole. Joey Gase and Garrett Smithley got into the wall on the first lap and collected Tyler Reddick and Ty Dillon. Byron had to pit after making contact with Corey LaJoie on pit road. Kyle Busch cut a tire after making contact with Aric Almirola. Brad Keselowski cut a tire and got into the wall along with Matt Kenseth. The race was red flagged due to rain. When the race resumed, Joey Logano won the first stage. Alex Bowman won the second stage and led the start of the final stage until he got into the wall and had to pit. Kevin Harvick took the lead, but Chase Elliott passed Harvick for the lead and held off Denny Hamlin for his first win of 2020.
Round 10: First Union 400
Noah Howe started on the pole. This was the first race held at North Wilkesboro under the lights. Through a chaotic Friday night, Macy Waltrip held off Elliott Sadler for her first win of the year.
Round 11: Food City 500
A random draw determined the starting lineup with Brad Keselowski starting on pole. Ryan Blaney spun while second and collected Ty Dillon. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spun and collected several cars including Alex Bowman, Cole Custer, Tyler Reddick, Ryan Preece, and Matt DiBenedetto, which brought out the red flag. Kevin Harvick made contact with Erik Jones and got into the wall. Bubba Wallace made little contact with Aric Almirola and collected Martin Truex Jr. Denny Hamlin spun after battling Joey Logano for the lead. Elliott got loose and put himself and Logano into the wall, which allowed Keselowski to take the lead and hold off Clint Bowyer for his second win of the season.
Round 12: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
Chase Elliott won pole from random draw. Kurt Busch had to serve a drive-thru penalty in the first laps due to failing pre-race inspection multiple times. Martin Truex, Jr. won both stages as Michael McDowell and John Hunter Nemechek both had spin outs that brought the only incidents of the day. Tony Stewart would go on to lead the most laps and grab his second win of the season. Following the race, Bubba Wallace suffered heat exhaustion due to the humid conditions.
Round 13: STP 500
The first night race to take place at Martinsville since the implementation of the lights in 2017, and the first race to ban all confederate flags from sports events in response of the death of George Floyd. Ryan Blaney won pole from random draw as a quick caution on lap 5 came out for debris from Austin Dilion's car. He would eventually retire from the race on the final stage due to overheating inside the car. Many noticeable drivers, including Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, Brad Keselowski, Blaney, and Matt Kenseth would struggle in the first stage and would already be a lap or two down until the competition caution came out at lap 60. Another caution would come out with 10 to go in stage 1 from Timmy Hill stalling on pit road. Most drivers who were a lap down opted to take the wave around, but Corey Lajoie opted not to pit while on the lead lap, thus trapping all the wave arounds stuck a lap down. Martin Truex, Jr. was busted from going over the commitment box while pitting and had to restart at the tail-end. Two more cautions would come out for incidents involving David Starr and Quin Houff. Truex would assume the lead in the latter portion of the race and would win for the second consecutive time at Martinsville, beating second place Ryan Blaney by 4.232 seconds.
Round 14: Dixie Vodka 400
Denny Hamlin won pole as the start of the race was delayed due to lightning in the area, and again on lap 5. Ryan Newman would spin out in the first stage as Hamlin would go on to win both stages. Chase Elliott led late in the race, but was blocked by lapped car Joey Logano due to their incident that happened at Bristol several weeks prior, allowing Noah Howe to take the lead and score his second win of the year.
Round 15: GEICO 500
The race was pushed from Sunday to Monday afternoon due to rain and lightning that washed out the track. Martin Truex, Jr. started on pole from a random draw. Denny Hamlin would hit the wall early on and would have to repair under green. A shower damped the track forcing the red flag for almost an hour. Tyler Reddick would win stage 1 under yellow following race resumption. John Hunter Nemechek would spin out in turn four to bring the only incident in stage 2 as Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. would win stage 2. Stage 3 would see two minor crashes involving Chase Elliott and Austin Dillon with 50 to go, and Brennan Poole and Joey Gase would crash with 46 to go. This caution would ultimately turn into a fuel mileage race as many would either barely make it while others would be a few laps short. The race would run green until 3 laps to go when Jimmie Johnson got turned by Kevin Harvick at the start/finish line forcing the race into overtime. Drivers up front like Ryan Blaney, Stenhouse, and Harvick would opt not to pit in order to keep track position and save fuel. On the overtime restart, Harvick would get a push from Chris Buescher to the lead. On the final lap, several drivers would crash in turn 3 involving Clint Bowyer, Matt Dibenedetto, and Truex, allowing Darrell Wallace Jr. (who had been involved in a supposed hate crime the day before that turned out to be a misunderstanding) to take his first career Cup Series win, becoming the first African-American to win in NASCAR since Wendell Scott did so in 1963; it was also Plymouth's first NASCAR win since 1973. There was much speculation that the race had been fixed in Wallace's favor (as many people thought that Wallace staged the hate crime on purpose for clout due to successfully campaigning NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag at every race and even took to Twitter comparing Wallace to Jussie Smollett and giving him the nickname "Bubba Smollett"), but the #43 passed inspection, and Tim Johnson stated on Fireside Chat the next night that Wallace won simply because of the Superbird's superior aerodynamics.
Round 16: Pocono Organics 325
Aric Almirola started the race on the pole. Almirola led the most laps in the race. During a round of green-flag pit stops, Almirola took four tires while Kevin Harvick took two tires, resulting in Harvick taking the lead. Late in the race, Logano had to make an unscheduled pit stop due to a flat tire. Austin Dillon held off Denny Hamlin to win the race, his first of the season.
Round 17: Pocono 350
Ryan Preece started the race on the pole following an inversion of the top 20 results from the first Pocono race. Christopher Bell spun and hit the wall. Toward the middle stages Ryan Blaney made contact with Kyle Busch, sending Busch spinning and into the wall. Kevin Harvick was leading in the final stages of the race and came to pit road for a green-flag pit stop, giving the lead to Denny Hamlin. Hamlin pitted 15 laps later and retained the lead once green-flag pit stops cycled through. Macy Waltrip would hold off Denny Hamlin for her second win of the season.
Round 18: Brickyard 400
Joey Logano started the race on the pole. On lap 15, a multicar accident occurred on pit road, with a crew member of Ryan Blaney's pit crew suffering injuries. The race was red flagged due to this incident. Several drivers were involved in wrecks due to tire issues, including Byron, Erik Jones, and Alex Bowman. Late in the race, Harvick and Denny Hamlin were battling for the lead. Hamlin cut a tire and hit the wall while leading with 7 laps to go, collecting Harvick. This caution set up an overtime finish, where Tony Stewart held off Matt Kenseth to win the race, his third win of the season, and his fourth win in the Brickyard 400. Stewart also took the points lead with his win; he would hold on to the lead for the rest of the season.
Round 19: Quaker State 400
Kyle Busch started on the pole. Aric Almirola dominated. Matt Kenseth spun after a flat tire. On a later restart, Jimmie Johnson was spun after contact with Keselowski. Kenseth spun a second time, setting up a two lap restart. Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. got side-by-side for the lead and Ryan Blaney made it three wide. Blaney and Harvick made contact and it allowed Cole Custer to take the lead in a four-wide pass on the last lap and hold off Truex for his second career Cup Series win.
Exhibition: The Panasonic
This was the first time the All-Star race was held at a track other than Charlotte Motor Speedway since 1986, when it was held at Atlanta Motor Speedway; in this case, the race was held at Daytona International Speedway. For the first time since Ticket Guardian 500 in March, fans were allowed at the track, but only in very limited numbers.
In the Open, Michael McDowell spun after contact with William Byron and collected Bubba Wallace. Aric Almirola and Byron won the first two stages to advance. Matt DiBenedetto held off Clint Bowyer to win the Open and transfer to the All-Star Race along with Bowyer, who won the fan vote.
Martin Truex Jr. started on the pole, but had to start in the back for failing inspection. Kurt Busch spun early as Ryan Blaney won the first stage. Chase Elliott won both the second and third stages. In the final 15 lap stage, Elliott pulled away and held off Kyle Busch to win $1 million, while the Big One broke out in the tri-oval and sent Kevin Harvick into a wild barrel-roll. Chase completed the second Father-Son combination to win the All-Star Race. His dad Bill won it in 1986 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The other combo were the Earnhardts with Dale Sr. winning it three times (1987, 1990, 1993) and Dale Jr. winning it in 2000, becoming the first rookie to win the exhibition event.
Exhibition: Daytona Late Model Classic
Due to the COVID-19 situation in Kantō, the Tokyo Late Model Classic moved back to Daytona for the first time since 2015. Rusty Wallace started on the pole, but didn't lead a single lap before being passed by Bill Elliott. Jeff Gordon held off Michael Waltrip for the win.
Round 20: Texas 400
A random draw gave Aric Almirola the pole. Ryan Blaney dominated for most of the day. On a restart late in the going, Almirola made contact with Kurt Busch and got into Kyle Busch, who turned Martin Truex Jr. and collected Ryan Preece, Chris Buescher, and Cole Custer. Ty Dillon made contact with William Byron and got into the wall. Alex Bowman got into the wall after contact with Denny Hamlin. Hamlin would then spin on the restart, setting up overtime. Austin Dillon used pit strategy to keep the lead and hold off teammate Tyler Reddick for his second win of 2020.
Round 21: Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs 400
This was the first-ever NASCAR Panasonic Cup Series event to be held at Memphis International Raceway, as well as the first NASCAR-sanctioned event to be held at the facility since 2009, and the first Cup Series race broadcast on TNN since 2000; this race was held on a Thursday night. A random draw gave the pole to Carl Edwards. In a stunning upset, Jed Thomas beat Denny Hamlin to the line in a photo-finish, getting his first career NASCAR win, as well as Geyser's first NASCAR win since 2005.
Round 22: Chevron 400
Held the Sunday after the Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs 400, a random draw gave the pole to Kevin Harvick. Joey Logano cut a tire and slammed the wall, collecting Austin Dillon, Jimmie Johnson, and Matt DiBenedetto. On the restart, Christopher Bell spun and collected Ryan Newman, Chris Buescher, and Ryan Preece; Preece hit the inside wall hard and barrel-rolled, bringing out the red flag. Aric Almirola led the most laps and passed Harvick for the lead, but couldn't hold off a hard-charging Carl Edwards, who took his first win since the 2017 Harley-Davidson 250.
Round 23: Foxwood Casino Resort 300
A random draw gave the pole to Aric Almirola. Kyle Busch slammed the wall early after a flat tire ending his race early. Jimmie Johnson made contact with Clint Bowyer and spun. Matt Kenseth had multiple tire issues and spun three different times. Tony Stewart led the most laps and held off Hamlin for his fourth win of the season.
Round 24: FireKeepers Casino 500
A random draw gave the pole to Joey Logano. The race started late due to the Busch Series race at Road America running late due to lightning, as NASCAR has a policy stating that two national series races cannot run simultaneously (Tim was considering waiving this rule by moving the remainder of the Busch race to ESPN2 to allow the Cup race to start; he also stated on Twitter that, if darkness sets in at Michigan, the race would be moved to Sunday, while the Consumer Energy 500 would be moved to Monday; ultimately, the Busch Series race ended with plenty of daylight to spare). Kevin Harvick dominated and led the most laps. John Hunter Nemechek suffered tire problems three times and collected Chris Buescher and Ryan Preece. Cole Custer got into the wall, sending the race to overtime. On the restart, Austin Dillon made contact with Christopher Bell and got into the wall along with Ryan Newman. On the restart, Harvick held off Brad Keselowski for his second win of the season.
Round 25: Consumer Energy 500
The top 20 from the previous race gave the pole to Chris Buescher, but he had to start at the rear of the field. Penske teammates Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski got together while battling for the lead and got into the wall. Harvick led the most laps, but couldn't hold off defending series champion Noah Howe, who passed Harvick with three laps to go for his third win of the season.
Round 26: Atlanta Grand Prix
A random draw gave the pole to Kevin Harvick. This was the first-ever Cup Series event held at Road Atlanta, and the first NASCAR-sanctioned event at the facility (which NASCAR owns via IMSA Holdings LLC) since 2013. The event replaced the Geyser/SaveMart 350 at Sonoma Raceway, which was canceled due to California being a COVID-19 hotspot. Alex Bowman lost a tire while Harvick spun twice and Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Blaney suffered speeding penalties. Anthony Alfredo, filling in for Austin Dillon who tested positive for COVID-19, was leading late until he had to pit, but finished 7th in his Cup debut. Kyle Busch, who was several laps down due to brake issues, spun with both rear tires flat. The dominant Elliott was able to hold off Hamlin for his second win of the season and his fourth career road course win.
Round 27: Gander RV 400
Chase Elliott was awarded the pole in the first race of the Dover doubleheader. Kurt Busch got into the wall early after contact with Erik Jones and collected Alex Bowman. Kevin Harvick had to pit twice early due to a loose wheel. Macy Waltrip led the most laps and held off John Hunter Nemechek for her third win of 2020.
Round 28: Drydene 500
The top 20 inverted from the previous race gave the pole to Matt DiBenedetto. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spun after contact with Joey Logano as Chase Elliott rammed into the back of Kyle Bush, ending the day for the 9 team. Jimmie Johnson came from a speeding penalty to get the lead off pit road for the final restart. Tony Stewart took the lead from Johnson and held off Martin Truex Jr. for his fifth win of the season.
Round 29: Utah Grand Prix
Kevin Harvick was awarded the pole. This was the first-ever NASCAR Panasonic Cup Series held at Miller Motorsports Park, and the first-ever NASCAR-sanctioned event held in the state of Utah. Joey Logano led the most laps. In the closing laps, Tyler Reddick took the lead and made contact with Kyle Busch, causing a multi-car wreck involving Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Erik Jones, Ryan Preece, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. On the restart, Denny Hamlin made contact with Logano, sending Logano spinning and collecting Reddick, Matt Kenseth, Daniel Suarez, Cole Custer, Macy Waltrip, and Jimmie Johnson. In overtime Clint Bowyer, Corey LaJoie, and Ty Dillon wrecked as William Byron would hold off teammate Chase Elliott for his second career Cup Series win.
Round 30: Southern 500
A random draw gave the pole to Chase Elliott. All cars ran #WeLoveLefty decals on the A-post in support of NASCAR fan Noah Sweet, who was bullied off of social media until his return on September 10, bearing a design inspired by a Jimmie Johnson LGBT paint scheme Sweet designed.
Round 31: Raya and the Dragon 400
Kevin Harvick started on the pole. Tony Stewart dominated, leading 200 out of 293 laps en route to his sixth win of the season.
Round 32: Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer 400
Brad Keselowski was awarded the pole. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. got into the wall after contact with Jimmie Johnson. William Byron got into Christopher Bell and had heavy damage, taking him out of the race. Kyle Busch was heading to the win until he had a hard time getting around lapped traffic and Noah Howe took the lead and held off Busch for his fourth win of the season.
Round 33: Welcome to the Wayne 400
Austin Dillon started on the pole. Chase Elliott led much of the second half of the race before being blocked by Joey Logano. A late-race pit stop resulted in Matt DiBenedetto taking home win #100 for Wood Brothers Racing, along with Mercury's first win since the 1980 Talladega 500, and the first win for the team since 2017.
Round 34: Susan G. Komen for the Cure 250
Denny Hamlin was awarded the pole. There were a total of 54 lead changes, making this the most competitive road course race in NASCAR history, and at the final lap during a big wreck, Tony Stewart edged out Hamlin for the win by over two feet. It was revealed shortly after the race that Toyota had repeatedly attempted to bribe several NASCAR executives into giving them more horsepower than other manufacturers, but were vetoed by Tim, and tried to bribe NASCAR into ruling in Hamlin's favor. It was also revealed that Toyota had, in the late 2000s and early 2010s, conspired to drive Dodge out of the sport. Tim stated that action would be taken against Toyota before the Music City USA 420, though he confirmed he would not be kicking Toyota out of NASCAR; this was revealed to be a $500,000 fine, the largest in NASCAR history.
Round 35: Music City USA 420
Tony Stewart was awarded the pole. After Noah Howe cut a tire with ten laps remaining, Chase Elliott took the lead, going on to win the race.
Round 36: YellaWood 500
Noah Howe started on the pole. On lap 27, an accident occurred with Macy Waltrip, Carl Edwards, and William Byron. On lap 104, the Big One occurred. In the closing laps, Ryan Blaney and Kurt Busch battled it out until Blaney edged out Busch for the win.
Round 37: Hollywood Casino 400
Chase Elliott started on the pole. On a picture-perfect day, Macy Waltrip took home her fourth win of the season.
Round 38: Iowa Corn 400
Brad Keselowski started on the pole. After Joey Logano took the lead on lap 25, he battled Chase Elliott, Noah Howe, and Kurt Busch throughout the day; Busch prevailed after clinching the lead with two laps to go.
Round 39: AAA Texas 500
Macy Waltrip started on the pole. When Noah Howe cut a tire with four laps to go, Jeffrey Earnhardt took the lead, and went on to win the race, twenty years after his uncle Dale Earnhardt, Jr. got his first career win in the 2000 DirecTV 500.
Round 40: PrimeStar 500
Kelly Walker started on the pole. Throughout the day, Chase Elliott battled with Tony Stewart until running out of fuel on lap 295. Stewart managed to hold on for his eighth win of the season.
Round 41: Pepsi 400
Brad Keselowski started on the pole. On lap 22, the caution flag waved after a crash occured between Macy Waltrip and William Byron. On lap 180, the Big One happened after Justin Allgaier accidentally got into the side of Amber Lucky, and the race had to be red-flagged for an hour. On the final lap, Tony Stewart passed Noah Howe to win the race; with his landslide lead in the points standings, Stewart clinched his sixth championship with nine wins; he is now second in all-time championships behind Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt.
Round 42: Tokyo 500
Matt DiBenedetto started on the pole. Within the first lap, outside pole-sitter Chase Elliott passed DiBenedetto. On lap 23, an accident was caused when Brad Keselowski crashed into Ryan Newman. On lap 180, the Big One occurred after Kyle Busch tried to pass Elliott. Jimmie Johnson led the final 20 laps to take home his first victory since the 2017 Food City 500, and his final career victory; Johnson thanked Hendrick Motorsports, Lowes, Chevrolet, and Chad Knaus for everything he accomplished throughout his career.
Round 43: Sony 500
Chase Elliott started on the pole. With 67 lead changes, this became the most competitive superspeedway race in NASCAR history; drivers from Elliott and Kevin Harvick to backmarkers like J. J. Yeley led at least one lap. Beau Phillips passed Tony Stewart and Noah Howe on the final lap to score the victory; after Phillips' burnouts, Stewart did his championship burnouts, with his car (which had a special paint scheme commemorating his sixth championship) fitted with blue lights (representing series title sponsor Panasonic) for the smoke to appear blue.
|No.||Race||Pole Position||Most Laps Led||Winning Driver||Manufacturer/Model|
|1||Harley-Davidson 250||Takuma Sato||William Byron||Cole Custer||Pontiac Grand Prix|
|Busch Clash||Ryan Newman||Brad Keselowski||Erik Jones||Toyota Camry|
|Gatorade Duel #1||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Joey Logano||Dodge Charger|
|Gatorade Duel #2||Alex Bowman||Kevin Harvick||William Byron||Chevrolet Camaro|
|2||Daytona 500||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Darrell Wallace Jr.||Tony Stewart||Pontiac Grand Prix|
|3||Dodge Challenger 400||Tony Stewart||Kevin Harvick||Joey Logano||Dodge Charger|
|4||Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube||Tony Stewart||Alex Bowman||Alex Bowman||Chevrolet Camaro|
|5||TicketGuardian 500||Chase Elliott||Chase Elliott||Noah Howe||Aston Martin DB11 Superleggera|
|6||Carolina Dodge Dealers 400||Brad Keselowski||Kevin Harvick||Kevin Harvick||Pontiac Grand Prix|
|7||TranSouth Financial 500||Ryan Preece||Tony Stewart||Denny Hamlin||Toyota Camry|
|8||Coca-Cola World 600||Kurt Busch||Alex Bowman||Brad Keselowski||Dodge Charger|
|9||Bank of America 500||William Byron||Kevin Harvick||Chase Elliott||Chevrolet Camaro|
|10||First Union 400||Noah Howe||Macy Waltrip||Macy Waltrip||Chevrolet Camaro|
|11||Food City 500||Brad Keselowski||Denny Hamlin||Brad Keselowski||Dodge Charger|
|12||Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500||Chase Elliott||Kevin Harvick||Tony Stewart||Pontiac Grand Prix|
|13||STP 500||Ryan Blaney||Joey Logano||Martin Truex Jr.||Dodge Challenger|
|14||Dixie Vodka 400||Denny Hamlin||Noah Howe||Noah Howe||Aston Martin DB11 Superleggera|
|15||GEICO 500||Martin Truex Jr.||Ryan Blaney||Darrell Wallace Jr.||Plymouth Superbird|
|16||Pocono Organics 325||Aric Almirola||Aric Almirola||Austin Dillon||Chevrolet Camaro|
|17||Pocono 350||Ryan Preece||Denny Hamlin||Macy Waltrip||Chevrolet Camaro|
|18||Brickyard 400||Joey Logano||Tony Stewart||Tony Stewart||Pontiac Grand Prix|
|19||Quaker State 400||Kyle Busch||Joey Logano||Cole Custer||Pontiac Grand Prix|
|NASCAR Panasonic Open||Michael McDowell||William Byron||Matt DiBenedetto||Mercury Cyclone|
|NASCAR Panasonic All-Star Race||Martin Truex Jr.||Ryan Blaney||Chase Elliott||Chevrolet Camaro|
|Daytona Late Model Classic||Rusty Wallace||Bill Elliott||Jeff Gordon||2005 Chevrolet Monte Carlo|
|20||Texas 400||Aric Almirola||Ryan Blaney||Austin Dillon||Chevrolet Camaro|
|21||Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs 400||Kevin Harvick||Denny Hamlin||Jed Thomas||Geyser Hawk|
|22||Chevron 400||Ryan Blaney||Aric Almirola||Carl Edwards||Ford Roush Mustang|
|23||Foxwood Casino Resort 300||Aric Almirola||Tony Stewart||Tony Stewart||Pontiac Grand Prix|
|24||FireKeepers Casino 500||Joey Logano||Kevin Harvick||Kevin Harvick||Pontiac Grand Prix|
|25||Consumer Energy 500||Chris Buescher||Kevin Harvick||Noah Howe||Aston Martin DB11 Superleggera|
|26||Atlanta Grand Prix||Kevin Harvick||Chase Elliott||Chase Elliott||Chevrolet Camaro|
|27||Gander RV 400||Chase Elliott||Macy Waltrip||Macy Waltrip||Chevrolet Camaro|
|28||Drydene 500||Matt DiBenedetto||Kevin Harvick||Tony Stewart||Pontiac Grand Prix|
|29||Utah Grand Prix||Tony Stewart||Joey Logano||William Byron||Chevrolet Camaro|
|30||Southern 500||Chase Elliott||Noah Howe||Austin Dillon||Chevrolet Monte Carlo|
|31||Raya and the Dragon 400||Kevin Harvick||Tony Stewart||Tony Stewart||Pontiac Grand Prix|
|32||Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer 400||Brad Keselowski||Kevin Harvick||Noah Howe||Aston Martin DB11 Superleggera|
|33||Welcome to the Wayne 400||Austin Dillon||Chase Elliott||Matt DiBenedetto||Mercury Cyclone|
|34||Susan G. Komen for the Cure 250||Denny Hamlin||Joey Logano||Tony Stewart||Pontiac Grand Prix|
|35||Music City USA 420||Tony Stewart||Noah Howe||Chase Elliott||Chevrolet Camaro|
|36||YellaWood 500||Noah Howe||Chase Elliott||Ryan Blaney||Dodge Charger|
|37||Hollywood Casino 400||Chase Elliott||Ryan Blaney||Macy Waltrip||Chevrolet Camaro|
|38||Iowa Corn 400||Brad Keselowski||Joey Logano||Kurt Busch||Toyota Avalon|
|39||AAA Texas 500||Macy Waltrip||Noah Howe||Jeffrey Earnhardt||Chevrolet Camaro|
|40||PrimeStar 500||Kelly Walker||Chase Elliott||Tony Stewart||Pontiac Grand Prix|
|41||Pepsi 400||Brad Keselowski||Noah Howe||Tony Stewart||Pontiac Grand Prix|
|42||Tokyo 500||Matt DiBenedetto||Chase Elliott||Jimmie Johnson||Chevrolet Camaro|
|43||Sony 500||Chase Elliott||Kevin Harvick||Beau Philips||Nissan Sentra|