The NASCAR Cup Series kicks off the much-anticipated 2020 slate with the annual season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway (set to resume Monday at 4 p.m. ET on FOX/FOX Sports App, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Check out all the information you need to know leading up to Sunday’s 500-mile showdown.
MORE: How to follow the race
Daytona International Speedway is a 2.5-mile tri-oval with a 3,800-foot frontstretch and a 3,000-foot backstretch. The start/finish line has 18 degrees of banking, while each turn has 31 degrees.
Bob Welborn won the inaugural Cup Series race at Daytona in 1959, besting a 38-driver field including Joe Weatherly, Lee Petty, Rex White and Junior Johnson, among others.
Stage 1 ends at Lap 65, Stage 2 ends at Lap 130 and the Final Stage is slated to end at Lap 200.
Teams will use the rules package that was in place last season for the summer Daytona race as well as both Talladega races. The package includes a 0.922-inch tapered spacer (replacing the restrictor plate), 9-inch rear spoiler, 1-inch bolt-on track bar mount, a tapered radiator pan, two-inch splitter overhang and aero ducts. Teams will also use a 1-inch wicker extension placed on top of the 9-inch spoiler.
For the weekend at Daytona, each Cup team will be allowed eight sets of Goodyear Eagle Superspeedway Radials for practice, qualifying and the Duels. They will also have an additional eight sets for the 500 (seven race sets, plus one transferred from qualifying or practice).
Higher top speeds accompanied by door-to-door racing shifts the main focus to grip and stability, particularly in the turns.
“Building the right amount of mechanical grip into the tires adds the needed stability with the tight racing we have here at Daytona,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. “We fine-tuned the tread compounds for here back in 2017 and then had a good test right after last year’s Daytona 500, which led us to updating the constructions as well. Those constructions introduced a little more stagger into this tire set-up, and that will also enhance the handling through the corners.”
— Kevin Harvick and Rodney Childers are now the longest active driver-crew chief pairing entering Daytona with a total of 212 races together. Kyle Busch and Adam Stevens are the next highest at 164.
— Chevrolet has won the last eight poles for the Daytona 500 with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. being the latest for the 2020 race. The last Daytona 500 pole winner to win the race was Dale Jarrett in 2000.
— The last 10 Daytona 500s were won by nine different drivers with Denny Hamlin the lone multiple winner in that stretch.
— 12 of the 61 Daytona 500s ended with a last lap pass (20%)
Source: Racing Insights
Catch all the live action from Daytona on FOX and the FOX Sports App beginning at 4 p.m. ET on Monday or listen in to complete radio coverage from MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
For a more interactive experience, head over to NASCAR.com or the NASCAR app to check out an enhanced Race Center, live Lap-by-Lap coverage, the customizable live leaderboard with Scanner, and the return of Drive (featuring in-car cameras).
2019 RACE WINNER
Denny Hamlin raced his way to the checkered flag at last year’s Daytona 500, in an emotional tribute to Joe Gibbs Racing president J.D. Gibbs. Hamlin held off a strong run from teammate Kyle Busch after a late restart to capture his second career victory in the Great American Race.
ACTIVE DAYTONA WINNERS
Jimmie Johnson (three); Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin (two each); David Ragan, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Aric Almirola, Erik Jones, Ryan Newman, Austin Dillon, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Justin Haley (one each).