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NASCAR: Way-too-early look at the 2020 Daytona 500 entry list – Beyond the Flag

NASCAR: Way-too-early look at the 2020 Daytona 500 entry list – Beyond the Flag
05 Jan
1:03

With the offseason between the 2019 and 2020 NASCAR Cup Series seasons roughly halfway complete, let’s take an early look at the 2020 Daytona 500 entry list.

The 2019 NASCAR Cup Series season came to an end seven weeks ago, and the 2020 season is scheduled to begin in six, five if you count the qualifying session for the Daytona 500 and the Busch Clash at the same venue, Daytona International Speedway.

Unlike in IndyCar and Formula 1 where the crown jewel race on the schedule doesn’t take place until several races into the season, the 36-race Cup Series schedule begins with its biggest event.

This year’s running of the 200-lap Daytona 500 around the four-turn, 2.5-mile (4.023-kilometer) high-banked Daytona International Speedway oval in Daytona Beach, Florida is the 62nd annual edition of the event.

A total of 34 full-time drivers have been confirmed for the 2020 season and thus the Daytona 500, and that could very well remain the case even with two remaining confirmed full-time entries, as there is no guarantee that either of these two entries won’t feature multiple drivers throughout the year.

There is another speculated full-time entry, although there are only 36 charters available. As a result, that entry would have to be unchartered unless the charter used by the now defunct #36 team at Front Row Motorsports does not go the one confirmed full-time entry that is currently unchartered and instead goes to this entry.

Either way (and without getting into a detailed explanation of the charter system), there won’t be 37 chartered cars, but there could still be 37 full-time entries, and that 37th full-time entry could result in a 35th (or 36th or 37th) full-time driver.

Aside of these 37 cars, two more cars, both with confirmed drivers, have been confirmed on the 2020 Daytona 500 entry list.

With the year 2020 officially upon us, let’s take a look at what has exactly been confirmed for the 2020 Daytona 500, and let’s also take a glance at what is still not confirmed, including what has been discussed and/or speculated over the last few weeks and months.

Full-time drivers (confirmed)

Chip Ganassi Racing

  • Kurt Busch, #1 Chevrolet
  • Kyle Larson, #42 Chevrolet

Front Row Motorsports

  • Michael McDowell, #34 Ford
  • John Hunter Nemechek, #38 Ford

Germain Racing

  • Ty Dillon, #13 Chevrolet

Go Fas Racing

  • Corey LaJoie, #32 Ford

Hendrick Motorsports

  • Chase Elliott, #9 Chevrolet
  • William Byron, #24 Chevrolet
  • Jimmie Johnson, #48 Chevrolet
  • Alex Bowman, #88 Chevrolet

Joe Gibbs Racing

  • Denny Hamlin, #11 Toyota
  • Kyle Busch, #18 Toyota
  • Martin Truex Jr., #19 Toyota
  • Erik Jones, #20 Toyota

JTG Daugherty Racing

  • Ryan Preece, #37 Chevrolet
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr., #47 Chevrolet

Leavine Family Racing

  • Christopher Bell, #95 Toyota

Premium Motorsports

  • Brennan Poole, #15 Chevrolet

Richard Childress Racing

  • Austin Dillon, #3 Chevrolet
  • Tyler Reddick, #8 Chevrolet

Rick Ware Racing

  • J.J. Yeley, #TBD TBD
  • Joey Gase, #TBD TBD

Richard Petty Motorsports

  • Bubba Wallace, #43 Chevrolet

Roush Fenway Racing

  • Ryan Newman, #6 Ford
  • Chris Buescher, #17 Ford

StarCom Racing

  • Quin Houff, #00 Chevrolet

Stewart-Haas Racing

  • Kevin Harvick, #4 Ford
  • Aric Almirola, #10 Ford
  • Clint Bowyer, #14 Ford
  • Cole Custer, #41 Ford

Team Penske

  • Brad Keselowski, #2 Ford
  • Ryan Blaney, #12 Ford
  • Joey Logano, #22 Ford

Wood Brothers Racing

  • Matt DiBenedetto, #21 Ford

Full-time drivers (speculated)

Remaining full-time seats (confirmed)

  • Third Rick Ware Racing entry
  • Spire Motorsports entry

Remaining full-time seats (speculated)

  • Possible MBM Motorsports entry (Timmy Hill confirmed for Daytona 500, #66 Ford; If MBM Motorsports’ car ends up being a full-time entry, Hill is slated to at least be a part-time driver, if not the full-time driver, of it. This could depend upon whether or not he qualifies for the Daytona 500, as MBM Motorsports do not have a charter.)

Daytona 500 one-offs (confirmed)

  • James Davison is set to drive for Jonathan Byrd’s Racing with Hayward Motorsports

Daytona 500 one-offs (speculated)

Other (confirmed)

  • Brendan Gaughan is set to compete in the four superspeedway races for Beard Motorsports.

Other (speculated)

Factoring in everything, there are currently 39 entries with 37 confirmed drivers lined up to compete in the 2020 Daytona 500, meaning that nobody will be bumped from the field. Of these 39 entries, 35 are chartered entries, meaning that these 35 entries are locked into the field if more than one entry ends up being added.

Should more than 40 entries end up on the entry list for this race, not everybody would qualify for the race.

Next: Top 10 NASCAR drivers of all-time

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Fox is set to broadcast the 62nd annual Daytona 500 live from Daytona International Speedway beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 16. Be sure not to miss the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season opener.

Source: https://beyondtheflag.com/2020/01/05/nascar-way-early-look-2020-daytona-500-entry-list/

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