NASCAR Unveils Major Changes to 2020 Cup Series Schedule

For a long while, due to track agreements with NASCAR, it was commonly believed that significant changes to the schedule wouldn’t be possible until 2021. On Tuesday afternoon, NASCAR shattered those beliefs by shuffling around the usually stagnant schedule for the 2020 Cup Series season. Headlining the changes was ISM Raceway, where NASCAR vice chairman Mike Helton held a press conference announcing that the Avondale, AZ raceway will play host to the 2020 Championship Weekend. This is a first time a track not named Homestead-Miami will host the season finale since 2001 when Atlanta was supposed to be the finale until the race at New Hampshire was postponed until the end of the season due to the September 11th attacks.

Homestead-Miami Speedway has now moved up to March where it will be the 6th race on the schedule, by far the most significant move in terms of number of days compared to its original slot. It will follow the aforementioned Atlanta Motor Speedway which has previously held the 2nd race of the season prior to the “West Coast Swing”. NASCAR will now conduct the 3-race string of West Coast races immediately after the season-opening Daytona 500.

After just 2 years, Indianapolis Motor Speedwaywill no longer host the regular season finale and instead will move to the ever prestigious 4th of July weekend. For the first time since the event started in 1959, the second race at Daytona International Speedway will not be scheduled along with Independence Day. It will now be the regular season finale in hopes to spark excitement for a possible last-ditch effort for a driver to make the playoffs at the wild-card-like event.

The Playoff schedule itself also receives an extensive restructuring for the 2020 season. Still on Labor Day Weekend, Darlington Raceway will kick off the playoffs followed by Richmond and the Bristol night race to close out the first round of the Playoffs. Las Vegas and the Charlotte Roval will still open and close a Playoff Round but it will be the Round of 12 instead of the Round of 16, with Talladega in the middle. The Round of 8, deciding who will move on to the Championship Finale in Phoenix, will be Kansas, Texas, and finally, Martinsville.

Among other changes to the schedule include a doubleheader weekend at Pocono, back-to-back weeks off during the Summer Olympics, and a Martinsville night race during Mother’s Day weekend.

Full 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Schedule:

RaceDateTrack
Sunday, Feb. 9The Clash at Daytona
Thursday, Feb. 13Duels at Daytona
1Sunday, Feb. 16Daytona International Speedway
2Sunday, Feb. 23Las Vegas Motor Speedway
3Sunday, March 1Auto Club Speedway
4Sunday, March 8ISM Raceway
5Sunday, March 15Atlanta Motor Speedway
6Sunday, March 22Homestead-Miami Speedway
7Sunday, March 29Texas Motor Speedway
8Sunday, April 5Bristol Motor Speedway
Sunday, April 12OFF
9Sunday, April 19Richmond Raceway
10Sunday, April 26Talladega Superspeedway
11Sunday, May 3Dover International Speedway
12Saturday, May 9Martinsville Speedway
Saturday, May 16All-Star Race at Charlotte
13Sunday, May 24Charlotte Motor Speedway
14Sunday, May 31Kansas Speedway
15Sunday, June 7Michigan International Speedway
16Sunday, June 14Sonoma Raceway
17Sunday, June 21Chicagoland Speedway
18Saturday, June 27Pocono Raceway
19Sunday, June 28Pocono Raceway
20Sunday, July 5Indianapolis Motor Speedway
21Saturday, July 11Kentucky Speedway
22Sunday, July 19New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Sunday, July 26OFF
Sunday, Aug. 2OFF
23Sunday, Aug. 9Michigan International Speedway
24Sunday, Aug. 16Watkins Glen International
25Sunday, Aug. 23Dover International Speedway
26Saturday, Aug. 29Daytona International Speedway
PLAYOFFS – ROUND OF 16
27Sunday, Sept. 6Darlington Raceway
28Saturday, Sept. 12Richmond Raceway
29Saturday, Sept. 19Bristol Motor Speedway
ROUND OF 12
30Sunday, Sept. 27Las Vegas Motor Speedway
31Sunday, Oct. 4Talladega Superspeedway
32Sunday, Oct. 11Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval
ROUND OF 8
33Sunday, Oct. 18Kansas Speedway
34Sunday, Oct. 25Texas Motor Speedway
35Sunday, Nov. 1Martinsville Speedway
CHAMPIONSHIP FINALE
36Sunday, Nov. 8ISM Raceway

Author: Tom Bailey

Tom Bailey (@TomBaileyScoop) grew up in the backyard of Chicagoland Speedway, making a passion for all motorsports inevitable. Tom is entering his first full year of racing coverage in 2020 as the owner and founder of InfieldScoop.com. You can contact him at [email protected]

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