This past week was a big week as far as confirmations on the entry list for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway are concerned.
Most notably, the confirmations of this past week for this 200-lap race around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida brought the entry list total to more than 40 cars, the maximum field size.
As a result, somebody will be going home disappointed following the Bluegreen Vacations Duels leading up to the 62nd annual running of this race.
Right now, there are 41 confirmed entries for this race, although that number could very well be 42 depending on how the situation regarding one of the full-time entries turns out.
A total of 34 full-time drivers have been confirmed for the 2020 season, and there are two additional full-time confirmed entries, one at Spire Motorsports and the other at Rick Ware Racing. Of these two entries, only Spire Motorsports has a charter, leaving one available charter.
Ross Chastain is set to drive the #77 Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports in the Daytona 500 through a partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing, a partnership that also includes an entry in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in late May.
The Rick Ware Racing entry, which is their third confirmed entry for this race, is where the potential extra driver comes in. David Ragan is set to drive the #36 Ford for the team in this race with a partnership involving Front Row Motorsports.
It has not yet been confirmed whether or not this entry is an additional Rick Ware Racing entry or their third full-time entry, which does not yet have a charter. It appears to be the latter, per Fox Sportsâ Bob Pockrass, and assuming that this is the case, it would likely become the 36th and final chartered entry of the season and thus guaranteed a Daytona 500 starting spot.
If Rick Ware Racingâs entry for Ragan ends up being separate from their three full-time entries, however, then there would be 42 confirmed entries, and Ragan would be one of the six drivers vying for the four spots for the teams without charters.
If it ends up being a chartered entry as expected, then there would be 41 confirmed entries, and there would currently be five drivers, Ragan not being one of them, vying for these four spots, meaning that somebody would still be going home early.
The five other confirmed entries for this race, of which none have charters, are as follows: two at MBM Motorsports, one at Beard Motorsports, one at Kaulig Racing and one at Jonathan Byrdâs Racing with Hayward Motorsports.
After failing to qualify for the race in 2017, Timmy Hill is set to make his Daytona 500 debut and has been confirmed by MBM Motorsports to drive the #66 Ford, and the teamâs goal is to run this car full-time in the 2020 season, even without a charter.
Additionally, Chad Finchum is slated to make his Daytona 500 debut driving the #46 Toyota for the team in this race, although they have not publicly confirmed this.
Brendan Gaughan is set to drive for Beard Motorsports behind the wheel of the #62 Chevrolet in the Daytona 500, along with the other three superspeedway races on the 2020 schedule. Justin Haley is set to make his Daytona 500 debut behind the wheel of the #16 Chevrolet for Kaulig Racing, which are also set to make their Daytona 500 debut.
Finally, James Davison is set to make his Daytona 500 debut driving for Jonathan Byrdâs Racing with Hayward Motorsports. Yet to be confirmed are a car number and a manufacturer.
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Which drivers will qualify and who will ultimately fail to do so for the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season opener? The single-car qualifying session for this race is set to be broadcast live from Daytona International Speedway on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 9. The Bluegreen Vacations Duels are then set to be broadcast live on the same network beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, February 13, and the 62nd annual Daytona 500 itself is set to be broadcast live on Fox beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 16.