DAYTONA BEACH, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The 2020 NASCAR Season gets underway in a little over a month with the season-opening Busch Clash and Daytona 500. The short off-season was not short on news however. Here’s some of the biggest headlines to get you up to speed.
- NASCAR is tweaking the short track package for the 2020 Season following a whopping six lead changes at both races at Martinsville Speedway. The new package is a reduced downforce package that will also be in effect on road courses and includes these changes:
- Spoiler size reduced to 2.75-inches from 8-inches.
- Splitter overhang reduced to 0.25-inches from 2-inches.
- Radiator pan vertical fencing to be removed.
- Team Penske is swapping crew chiefs on all three Cup Series entries. Jeremy Bullins moves to the No. 2 Ford Mustang of Brad Keselowski. Todd Gordon moves to the No. 12 Ford Mustang of Ryan Blaney and Paul Wolfe moves to the No. 22 Ford Mustang of Joey Logano. Not only are the crew chiefs moving but the road and pit crews for each team will follow their crew chiefs.
- Joe Gibbs Racing is promoting James Small to crew chief for Martin Truex and the No. 19 Toyota. Small replaces Cole Pearn, who announced in December that he was leaving racing to spend more time with his family.
- Joey Gase will compete full-time in the Cup Series with Rick Ware Racing.
- Jerry Baxter is joining Richard Petty Motorsports as the crew chief for the No. 43 Chevrolet of Bubba Wallace. Baxter and Wallace worked together in the Truck Series in 2013-14, winning five races and finishing third in the championship.
- Ryan Sparks will be the crew chief for the No. 32 Go FasRacing Ford Mustang driven by Corey LaJoie. Sparks spent 13-years with Richard Childress Racing as race engineer, most recently for Austin Dillon.
- World of Outlaws racer David Gravel, who won the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup this past July at Lernerville Speedway, will try his hand at NASCAR by running a couple of Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series races for GMS Racing.
- NASCAR is experimenting with new pit stop procedures at select standalone Xfinity and Truck Series events. This graphic explains the new rules:
Speedweeks gets underway beginning Friday, February 7th when the ARCA Menards Series practice followed on Saturday with Busch Clash Practice for Cup Series followed by ARCA qualifying. Two Daytona 500 practice sessions for the Cup Series take place in the afternoon with the Lucas Oil 200 for the ACRA Series at 4:45 p.m. ET.