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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.
It was announced that 2020 will be the last full-time season for seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson as well as for part-timer Brendan Gaughan. After getting involved in the Daytona 500 and ended up finishing fourth, David Ragan announced that he would retire as a full-time driver but was still open to drive part-time. He would later drive the No. 17 DGR-Crosley truck part-time.
^ abcdeYeley will be running the full season for Rick Ware Racing split between their multiple cars. He currently has driven the No. 52/27, No. 53, and the No. 54 as well as the No. 7 for Tommy Baldwin Racing and the No. 77 for Spire Motorsports which were both in alliances with RWR.
^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.
^ abGase 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.
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 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 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, 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/Ford. 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 he has driven for in the Cup Series in select races for the last few years.
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 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.
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 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.
On May 18, 2020, following the 2020 The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington, Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 crew chief Chris Gayle was suspended for one race and fined US$20,000 after it was discovered that two lug nuts were not safely secured during post-race inspection. Race engineer Seth Chavka was announced to take over Gayle's duties at the 2020 Toyota 500 at Darlington.
On May 25, 2020, following the 2020 Coca-Cola 600, Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 crew chief Chris Gabehart, car chief Brandon Griffeth, and engineer Scott Simmons were suspended for four races after a tungsten ballast came loose and fell off the frame rail of the car during the start of the race.
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 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 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 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.
On July 7, 2020 Beats Beats by Dr. Dre. announced that they have signed a personal services agreement with driver Bubba Wallace.
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.
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.
NASCAR unveiled the 2020 schedule on March 26, 2019.
Due to implications from the COVID-19 pandemic, the schedule remains subject to significant changes.
Pocono Raceway's two races were consolidated into a doubleheader weekend, with the Pocono Organics 325 and Pocono 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.
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 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.
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 that will be run with no fans in the stands. Charlotte then allowed each owner of a Turn 1 condominium complex overlooking the track five tickets each to the races.
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. NASCAR also announced a continuation of its empty stands policy for those races. However, Atlanta, like Charlotte, allowed owners of its Turn 4 condominiums to attend the races with a similar policy to that in place (five tickets for each unit). Homestead would eventually end up inviting 1,000 Military Members, their families, and First Responders to watch the race live in person and Talladega would eventually allow 5,000 fans and limited camping for the GEICO 500 race on Monday.
With the exception of the Coca-Cola 600, all races starting with NASCAR's return at Darlington through the Homestead race at minimum will feature no practice or qualifying. Teams will unload, have cars inspected, and race. The Coca-Cola 600 will feature qualifying only a few hours before the race but no practice.
On June 15, NASCAR announced due to the state of North Carolina not able to allow sporting events with fans, that they would move the NASCAR All-Star Race to Bristol Motor Speedway with the rescheduled date being intact and the format to be announced at a later date with up to 30,000 fans being allowed in the stands.
Clint Bowyer started on the pole. Alex Bowman won the first stage. 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. 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.
Season paused for two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic
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 COVID-19 pandemic. 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.
This was NASCAR's first race back since the pandemic hit. It was run on May 17 as a one day show, with no fans in attendance. 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.
The second race to air during prime time this season also saw no fans in the stands much like the previous race. Positions 1 through 20 from Sunday's race were inverted, which meant Ryan Preece started on pole by virtue of his 20th place finish on Sunday. Positions 21 through 40 made up the remaining half of the grid. The Tommy Baldwin racing entry driven by Josh Bilicki did not enter this race which meant only 39 cars started. J. J. Yeley and Gray Gaulding started in the rear due to them not participating in Sunday's race. The race saw Preece, the pole sitter, blow a motor during the first stage and fail to finish. Clint Bowyer led the most laps and won the first and second stages, but got into the wall and spun late in the race. Denny Hamlin was leading when the final caution came out with 28 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 20 laps remaining NASCAR declared Hamlin the winner. This was Hamlin's second victory of the season.
This race occurred on its originally scheduled date of May 24 but was 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 meaning he will start in last place in the next race.
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. Joey Logano will go on to win stage 1 while Jimmie Johnson would win stage 2. 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.
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 Hamlin to regain the lead and score his third win of the season.
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 random draw. Denny Hamlin would hit the wall late in stage 1 and would have to repair under green. 5 laps before the end of stage 1, 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 Blaney to pass Harvick and score his 4th career win in the Cup Series, beating out Stenhouse by 0.007 seconds as Erik Jones, Aric Almirola, and Nemechek crash coming to the finish.
(key) Bold - Pole position awarded by time. Italics - Pole position set by final practice results, owner's points, previous race field inversion or random draw. * - Most laps led. 1 - Stage 1 winner. 2 - Stage 2 winner. 3 - Stage 3 winner.[N 1]1-10