NASCAR is getting what it wanted when it scheduled the summer Daytona race as the 2020 regular-season finale for the Cup Series. Multiple drivers have chances to clinch one of the three open playoff spots heading into a Saturday night race at one of motorsports’ most unpredictable tracks.
Saturday night’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway will set the 16-driver field for NASCAR’s 10-race playoff scheduled to start next week. Clint Bowyer, Matt DiBenedetto and William Byron entered the weekend in the last three playoff positions based on points standings, but Jimmie Johnson and Erik Jones were not far behind.
Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin was considered the favorite to win Saturday night’s race with Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick close behind on the odds board. Of course, those odds don’t mean much in a superspeedway race when simply finishing is the first priority for all 40 drivers.
Sporting News is tracking live race updates and lap-by-lap highlights from Saturday’s NASCAR race at Daytona. Follow below for complete results from the Coke Zero Sugar 400.
NASCAR at Daytona live race updates, highlights from Coke Zero Sugar 400
NASCAR is offering a free live stream of Denny Hamlin’s in-car camera throughout Saturday night’s Daytona race. Below is that stream:
Live NASCAR playoff bubble positions as they run:
Live race updates:
(Saturday night’s race at Daytona is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. ET.)
7:10 p.m. ET: NASCAR announces Clint Bowyer must start the race from the back of the pack because of unapproved prerace adjustments.
5:55 p.m. ET: NASCAR announces Austin Dillon will start the race from the back of the pack after his team failed prerace tech inspection twice.
NASCAR race start time today
The green flag for Saturday night’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Daytona will wave shortly after 7:30 p.m. ET, assuming there are no rain delays as there have been so often since NASCAR returned to live racing in May.
The good news regarding the weather for Saturday night’s race is that summer conditions in Central Florida are relatively predictable, barring the threat of a tropical storm. Late-afternoon thunderstorms are common in the area, which is why the Daytona road course race a couple weeks ago was delayed, but the weather systems typically clear in the evening.
Daytona has lights, and this race in 2015 ran into the early morning hours after a lengthy rain delay. NASCAR has plenty of flexibility if weather becomes an issue Saturday night.
The Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona is scheduled for 160 laps and must reach the halfway point to be considered official.
NASCAR at Daytona starting lineup
Here is the full starting lineup for Saturday night’s NASCAR race at Daytona:
|1||Kevin Harvick||4||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|2||Martin Truex Jr.||19||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|3||Joey Logano||22||Team Penske|
|4||Brad Keselowski||2||Team Penske|
|5||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|6||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports|
|7||Jimmie Johnson||48||Hendrick Motorsports|
|8||Alex Bowman||88||Hendrick Motorsports|
|9||Ryan Blaney||12||Team Penske|
|10||Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|11||Kyle Busch||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|12||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing|
|13||Kurt Busch||1||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|14||Clint Bowyer||14||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|15||Matt DiBenedetto||21||Wood Brothers Racing|
|16||Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|17||Chris Buescher||17||Roush Fenway Racing|
|18||Tyler Reddick||8||Richard Childress Racing|
|19||Matt Kenseth||42||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|20||Erik Jones||20||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|21||Bubba Wallace||43||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|22||Ryan Newman||6||Roush Fenway Racing|
|23||Christopher Bell||95||Leavine Family Racing|
|24||John Hunter Nemechek||38||Front Row Motorsports|
|25||Corey LaJoie||32||GoFas Racing|
|26||Michael McDowell||34||Front Row Motorsports|
|27||Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
|28||Ryan Preece||37||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|29||Ty Dillon||13||Germain Racing|
|30||Daniel Suarez||96||Gaunt Brothers Racing|
|31||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|32||Brennan Poole||15||Premium Motorsports|
|33||JJ Yeley||27||Rick Ware Racing|
|34||Quin Houff||00||StarCom Racing|
|35||Timmy Hill||66||Motorsports Business Management|
|36||Ross Chastain||77||Spire Motorsports|
|37||Joey Gase||53||Rick Ware Racing|
|38||James Davison||51||Petty Ware Racing|
|39||Josh Bilicki||7||Tommy Baldwin Racing|
|40||Brendan Gaughan||62||Beard Motorsports|