Rookie Stripe: 6 Things New NASCAR Fans Need to Know in 2020

Photo Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts and Scuffs
2020 is a new decade in NASCAR... literally.

Since the sport’s founding in 1948, it has traveled miles to evolve into the roaring force it is today. It can be hard to stay on top of the inevitable changes that happen with each new season, especially if you’re a new fan or want to learn the nuts and bolts of NASCAR. There’s never easy entry when it comes to the hairpin turns of NASCAR, but here are six things rookie NASCAR fans should know in 2020:

1. Naming Rights
2020 marks the year that the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) officially takes its own brand back. Led by major title sponsors over previous decades that included Winston, Sprint and Monster Energy, NASCAR embarks this year on a journey without a major sponsor for its Cup Series and is known simply as the NASCAR Cup. Backing the series are four premier partners, including Busch®, Coca-Cola®, Geico® and Xfinity.

NASCAR also now owns International Speedway Corp., meaning it has more control now over its schedule and the 12 tracks now in its possession.

2. Flourishing Fandom
Like any sport that’s been around for many years, audiences can wax and wane. As NASCAR has seen some of its legendary drivers retire and longtime fans begin to fade, it has looked to energize a new and more diverse fan base. As the governing body gets creative to draw more fans to races and TV coverage, it has also increased its presence and interaction on social media. As we move into 2020, watch for NASCAR as a sanctioning body continue its efforts to engage with younger and more diverse fans, including females.

3. Annual Driver Shuffle
Each off season means an assured mix up of teams as drivers exit contracts, enter new contracts and move teams and crew chiefs. Some drivers may race for several NASCAR teams over the course of their careers, though some may stay with the same team. Read more about the drivers that made moves for the 2020 season.

Review how drivers choose their teams.

4. Schedule Shake-Up
The 2020 schedule looks a bit different than years past, including the last race of the season. Phoenix Raceway will be the site of the championship, rather than Homestead, which was slated to move to March 22. (As of this writing, NASCAR has postponed the March 22 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the wake of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.) NASCAR will race back-to-back at Pocono on June 27 and 28, and is scheduled to take off weekends July 19 and August 9, which may be affected by the postponements of regularly scheduled races in March. Racing in Bristol moves to September 19 from August, also marking the first round of the playoffs, and the Brickyard 400 takes the July 4 date. Daytona International Speedway will host the first and last races of the regular season in 2020. (Source: Yahoo Sports)


5. Here Comes Gen-7
As we move through 2020, watch for more news on the Gen-7 race car, a new stock car expected to debut in 2021 for NASCAR. The next car version will feature an 18-inch, lower-profile tire instead of the current traditional 15-inch version. It will also be more like a traditional consumer vehicle as NASCAR looks to more closely align itself with its manufacturer partners. Read more at NASCAR.com and AutoWeek.com.

6. COVID-19 Impact on Racing
The rapidly evolving coronavirus pandemic in 2020 is taking an enormous toll on the world of sports, including NASCAR, which as of March 13 has elected to postpone races in Atlanta and Homestead. This unprecedented global health crisis continues to escalate. Follow Skirts and Scuffs for the latest on how it is impacting NASCAR.



Rookie Stripe: 6 Things New NASCAR Fans Need to Know in 2020 Rookie Stripe: 6 Things New NASCAR Fans Need to Know in 2020 Reviewed by Logan Stewart on Friday, March 13, 2020 Rating: 5

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