The 2020 season was only four race weekends into the season when the COVID-19 outbreak caused NASCAR to hit pause. This Sunday, May 17th, NASCAR will kick off the 2020 season again as teams travel to Darlington Raceway for the long awaited return to racing.

Getting Caught Up; 2020 Season Changes

Here’s what you need to know before the green flag flies this weekend:

Who’s In the Driver Seat?

  • After Ryan Newman survived the most terrifying crash we have seen in a long time in this year’s Daytona 500, he will be back in the seat of the no. 6 Ford Mustang for Roush Fenway Racing
  • Matt Kenseth will replace Kyle Larson for the remainder of the 2020 season

Race Weekend Procedures

  • NASCAR will not be racing at Chicagoland Speedway, Richmond Raceway or Sonoma Raceway this year
  • Practice will not be held
  • There will not be Busch Pole Qualifying for three of the next four events
  • This is how starting positions will be determined on Sunday at Darlington:
  • The NASCAR Cup Series races again on Wednesday, May 20th and will use results from Sunday’s race to determine starting positions for Wednesday night’s race. Here’s how that will look:
    • The top 20 finishers from Sunday night’s race will be inverted
    • The bottom 20 finishers will start from the position they finish in on Sunday night
    • Those who choose to race on Wednesday night but don’t on Sunday will start at the rear of the field
  • Qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600 will be held shortly before the green flag on May 24th
  • May 27th starting positions at Charlotte Motor Speedway:
    • The top 20 finishers will be inverted
    • The last 20 finishers will start from where they finished in the Coca-Cola 600

Competition Caution

Due to not having practice or qualifying there will be a competition caution in each race for all three NASCAR national series. Here’s the details:

  • NASCAR will freeze the field while under competition caution to allow teams to make adjustments needed due to not having practice
    • No wave-around
    • Pit road will be open to the top 20 on the first caution lap then the next 20 on the following lap
    • Teams get the opportunity to pit twice under competition caution
    • Drivers that do not beat the pace car off pit road will start from the back of the field and will go a lap down
    • If teams pit more than twice or do not pit during their designated pit window they must start at the back
    • The Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoors Truck Series will now allow a maximum of 40 rather than the original 36 and 32 entries because of no practice or qualifying. This will only be in place for events that don’t have qualifying.

2020 Winners

In case you forgot here’s who has won so far in the 2020 season:

NASCAR Gander RV and Outdoors Truck Series

NextEra Energy 250 – Daytona – Grant Enfinger

Strat 200 – Las Vegas – Kyle Busch

NASCAR Xfinity Series

NASCAR Racing Experience 300 – Daytona – Noah Gragson

Boyd Gaming 300 – Las Vegas – Chase Briscoe

Production Alliance Group 300 – Auto Club – Harrison Burton

LS Tractor 200 – Phoenix – Brandon Jones

NASCAR Cup Series

Busch Clash at DAYTONA – Daytona – Erik Jones

Bluegreen Vacations Duel 1 at DAYTONA – Daytona – Joey Logano

Bluegreen Vacations Duel 2 at DAYTONA – Daytona – William Byron

Daytona 500 – Daytona – Denny Hamlin

Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube – Las Vegas – Joey Logano

Auto Club 400 – Auto Club – Alex Bowman

FanShield 500 – Phoenix – Joey Logano

Darlington’s Race Week Schedule

The green flag will be waving soon! What time should you tune in? I have the answers!

Sunday, May 17th – NASCAR Cup Series The Real Heroes 400 – FOX, MRN at 3:30pm ET

Tuesday, May 19th – NASCAR Xfinity Series – FOX, MRN at 8pm ET

Wednesday, May 20th – NASCAR Cup Series – FS1, MRN at 7:30pm ET

Let’s be thankful that we can finally enjoy our favorite sport again from the comfort of our homes. Tune in to FOX or the Motor Racing Network on Sunday, May 17th at 3:30pm ET as racing returns!

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