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Darlington Raceway will kick off the NASCAR Playoffs in 2020 with the NASCAR Cup Series Southern 500 scheduled for Sunday, September 6. It will be Darlington Raceway’s first-ever appearance in NASCAR’s current postseason format. (Photo: Getty Images)

Opinion: Playoff Picks

Pete Pistone’s prognostications for who will race their way into the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff field.

A field of 16 drivers will again qualify for this year’s playoff grid with the August 29th race at Daytona International Speedway serving as the regular-season finale for the first time.

Once the field is set, historic Darlington Raceway kicks off the championship portion of the field with the Southern 500 Labor Day weekend.

See Also: 2020 Bold Predictions

The revamped schedule will see Bristol Motor Speedway end the opening round of the playoffs, Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Roval capping Round 2 and Martinsville Speedway hosting the race that will ultimately determine the Championship 4. Phoenix Raceway will be the new destination for the title race on November 8th.

So without further ado, here are the drivers that will have a shot at hoisting the NASCAR Cup Series trophy after the final checkered flag of the campaign flies nine months from now:


Kyle Busch
Martin Truex Jr.
Denny Hamlin
Kevin Harvick
Joey Logano
Chase Elliott
Brad Keselowski
Kyle Larson
Kurt Busch
Jimmie Johnson
Ryan Newman
William Byron
Erik Jones
Ryan Blaney
Clint Bowyer
Christopher Bell

Missing from last year: Alex Bowman, Aric Almirola

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Motor Racing Network.