CRANDALL: 20 reminders for 2020

Image by Logan Whitton/LAT

CRANDALL: 20 reminders for 2020

Insights & Analysis

CRANDALL: 20 reminders for 2020


If you listen carefully, you can just about hear cars firing the engine at Daytona International Speedway.

It is only four days until the NASCAR Cup Series gets a new racing season started with qualifying for the 62nd annual Daytona 500 and the Busch Clash. And like any season, there are plenty of talking points.

Kyle Busch looks to become the first back-to-back champion under the elimination format and the first repeat champion since Jimmie Johnson in 2009-10. Speaking of Johnson, this year is his farewell tour as a full-time driver in the Cup Series.

Championship weekend has moved out of Miami, just one part of a schedule reshuffling. Pocono is doubling up its race weekend and NASCAR has tweaked procedures across the board.

More restrictions on Cup stars in Xfinity races are among the tweaks for NASCAR’s new season. Image by Rusty Jarrett/LAT

Need help remembering or keeping up with it all? Here are 20 reminders for the 2020 season, with links to more info as shown:

  • The participation guidelines for Cup Series drivers competing in the Truck and Xfinity Series have been further limited. Drivers with more than three years of full Cup experience (down from five) are limited to five races in both the Truck Series (the same as ’19) and Xfinity Series (down from seven). 
  • A full Xfinity Series field has been reduced from 38 to 36 cars. The Truck Series remains at 32 and the Cup Series is a full field with 40 cars.
  • Some of the notable races shuffled on the calendar:
    1. The spring Martinsville race for the Cup Series is now in May and under the lights.
    2. Pocono will hold two Cup races on one weekend in June.
    3. The second Daytona race is now in late August and will determine the playoff field.
    4. The Cup Series playoffs now features Darlington and Bristol with Martinsville setting the Championship 4.
    5. The season finale for all three series will be at Phoenix Raceway (and the season ends one week earlier).
    6. The Xfinity Series returns to Martinsville for the first time since 2006 in November.
    7. The Xfinity Series will compete on the Indianapolis road course in July.
    8. The Truck Series returns to Richmond for the first time since 2005 in April.
  • Chevrolet teams in the Cup Series have a new car this year, the Camaro ZL1 1LE. Hendrick Motorsports’ Chad Knaus says it is “significantly different” than the previous model.
  • The integration of ARCA and what was the K&N Pro Series has been completed and the new model goes into effect this year. Four different championships will be decided: ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East and West, and the ARCA Showdown. A full breakdown of the schedules for each series can be found here. 
  • Martin Truex Jr. will work with new crew chief James Small this year following the departure of Cole Pearn. 
  • All three Team Penske drivers have new crew chiefs this season: Ryan Blaney with Todd Gordon, Brad Keselowski with Jeremy Bullins, and Joey Logano with Paul Wolfe. Additionally, the road and pit crews have followed their respective crew chiefs. 
  • At Stewart-Haas Racing, Aric Almirola will now work with Mike Bugarewicz while Clint Bowyer will work with Johnny Klausmeier. Cole Custer moves into the No. 41 Ford and has brought crew chief Mike Shiplett with him. 
  • Front Row Motorsports has downsized to two cars with Michael McDowell and rookie John Hunter Nemechek. 
  • Richard Childress Racing will have Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick as its Cup Series drivers. Dillon will again work with crew chief Justin Alexander and a revamped No. 3 team while Reddick takes over the No. 8 Chevrolet with crew chief Randall Burnett and a bulk of his team also moving up from the Xfinity Series. 
  • There are a bunch of faces in new places in the Cup Series: 
    1. Quinn Houff takes over the No. 00 Chevrolet at StarCom Racing. 
    2. Brennan Poole will drive the No. 15 Chevrolet for Premium Motorsports.
    3. Chris Buescher is back at Roush Fenway Racing in the No. 17 Ford. Luke Lambert also joins as crew chief.
    4. Matt DiBenedetto is the new driver of the Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 Ford. 
    5. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is now at JTG-Daugherty Racing in the No. 47 Chevrolet with Brian Pattie joining as his crew chief. 
    6. Christopher Bell moves to Leavine Family Racing in the No. 95 Toyota, bringing crew chief Jason Ratcliff with him. 
    7. Daniel Suarez has a full-time ride with Gaunt Brothers Racing in the No. 96 Toyota. 
    8. Joey Gase moves into the series full-time with Rick Ware Racing. 
    9. Corey LaJoie will work with new crew chief Ryan Sparks.
    10. Darrell Wallace Jr. will work with new crew chief Jerry Baxter. 
  • There are also new faces in new places in the Xfinity Series:
    1. Daniel Hemric has a 21-race schedule with JR Motorsports in the No. 8 Chevrolet. 
    2. Ross Chastain is full-time in the No. 10 Chevrolet for Kaulig Racing. 
    3. Riley Herbst is full-time in the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. 
    4. Harrison Burton is full-time in the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. 
    5. Myatt Snider will run a limited schedule with Richard Childress Racing in the No. 21 Chevrolet. 
    6. Anthony Alfredo will run the bulk of the schedule with Richard Childress Racing in the No. 21 Chevrolet. 
  • And finally, here are the key driver changes in the Truck Series: 
    1. Raphael Lessard will compete for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the No. 4 Toyota. 
    2. Christian Eckes will also compete for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the No. 18 Toyota. 
    3. Derek Kraus is full-time in the No. 19 Toyota for the newly formed McAnally-Hilgemann Racing. 
    4. Zane Smith is full-time at GMS Racing in the No. 21 Chevrolet. 
    5. Tyler Ankrum is full-time at GMS Racing in the No. 26 Chevrolet. 
    6. World of Outlaws driver David Gravel will run a limited schedule in the No. 24 Chevrolet for GMS Racing. 
    7. Todd Gilliland has a full-time ride in the newly formed No. 38 Ford truck team out of Front Row Motorsports.