NASCAR weekly: Kyle Busch and his first 24h of Daytona

NASCAR weekly: Kyle Busch and his first 24h of Daytona
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

In our weekly newsflash we take a look at NASCAR’s breaking news – In focus: Kyle Busch’s IMSA Series debut during the 24h of Daytona

NASCAR Cup Series

For Kyle Busch, 2020 started earlier in Daytona than in the past years because the current NASCAR champion took part in the 24h of Daytona in the GTD category (GT3 class). Busch started for Lexus and shared the car with Parker Chase, Jack Hawksworth and Michael de Quesada. In the end, he finished his debut in ninth place in his class.

“There was a lot going on and a lot to learn and kind of pick up on and figure out,” said Busch to ‘NBC’. “Overall it was good. We had a lot of fun, I enjoyed it. I think the triple stint was probably a Cup race in my mind, and then I was able to get in some more time, too. That was certainly a lot of run time.”

Technical problems and an unscheduled replacement of the brakes slowed down the Lexus a bit on the long run. Busch believes that he could have landed further ahead in the race, but is satisfied with the results under these circumstances. The race driver from Las Vegas does not rule out another start at the 24h of Daytona in the IMSA Series, even if it is now “too early” for a decision.

Brendan Gaughan will drive his last Cup season in 2020. The likeable Beard Motorsport driver will compete in four more races in the coming season and then retire from Cup racing. The 44-year-old will race the two Daytona and Talladega races in the 2020 season and than end his Cup career.

Gaughan will be remembered for his sensational interview (to be found here) at the 2019 Talladega race, where he made a clean flip without touching the ground when he was involved in a “Big One”. With a smile on his face, he greeted his mother to show that he is okay. He also gave himself grades for the spectacular flip.

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Credits: Walt Kuhn / IndyCar Digital

There will be an important change in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2020: instead of driving the oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the second division will have its race on the road course. The NASCAR Cup Series, on the other hand, will continue to use the oval of the traditional track.

Matt DiBenedetto, who will compete in the Cup Series for the Wood Brothers in 2020, has completed an Xfinity test on the circuit together with Team Penske. He tested both the 12-turns and 14-turns versions. His conclusion: “Seeing Stockcars on this oval is unique and that’s why I love it. It’s a tough little circuit that’s gonna deliver great racing.”

NASCAR Gander & RV Outdoors Series 

In the third NASCAR league, a decisive detail has changed compared to the previous year. Instead of the previous eight, ten drivers will now take part in the playoffs for the championship. The “Round of 10” will be fought out at Gateway,  Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Bristol Motor Speedway. The “Round of 8” will be held in Las Vegas, Talladega and Martinsville to determine who will advance to the “Championship 4” at Phoenix Raceway.

In 2019 this rule change would have ensured that Ben Rhodes and Harrison Burton would have fought for the championship, instead the title hopes of the two drivers ended after the regular season.

Credits: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

With McAnally-Hilgemann-Racing, a new team will start in 2020. Bill McAnally and Bill Hilgemann will jointly field a Toyota Tundra with start number 19. The team is partnering with Hattori Racing Enterprises. The Toyota Tundra will be driven by Derek Kraus, who won the 2019 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Championship.

Hailie Deegan will compete in some Truck races in the 2020 season. The 18-year-old is considered one of the great talents of NASCAR and a potential successor of Danica Patrick. As part of the 24h race at Daytona, Deegan competed in the Michelin Pilot Challenge in a Ford Mustang GT4 from Multimatic Motorsports Inc. Due to a technical defect, however, Deegan and her teammate Chase Briscoe had to retire early and finished in 43rd place.

But Deegan is very happy with her sports car debut: I feel like I just gained a lot of experience. I just feel like I know a lot more about racing than I did before,” she told ‘NBC’. “The traffic is a little difficult to deal with; it’s not bad, though. It makes it fun. It makes it interesting. You constantly have to be on your toes.”

NASCAR Pinty’s Series Canada

A look at the international NASCAR series reveals that the NASCAR Pinty’s Series has also put together an exciting programme for 2020. The calendar for the coming season promises numerous exciting races and a lot of variety.

A total of ten different tracks will be visited for twelve events. A good mix of ovals and circuits will be used: five times on a circuit and seven times on an oval. Excitement is guaranteed!

May 17, 2020Canadian Tire Motorsport ParkRoad course
June 6, 2020Jukasa Motor SpeedwayOval
June 27, 2020Autodrome Chaudiere-Vallee-JonctionOval
July 4, 2020Sunset SpeedwayOval
July 10, 2020Exhibition Place TorontoRoad course
July 25, 2020Edmonton International RacewayOval
July 29, 2020Wyant Group RacewayOval
August 9, 2020Circuit Trois-RivieresRoad course
August 18, 2020Ohsweken SpeedwayOval
September 6, 2020Canadian Tire Motorsport ParkRoad course
September 12, 2020Circuit ICARRoad course
September 26, 2020Jukasa Motor SpeedwayOval

André Wiegold and Simon Mones