NASCAR Cup Series Expectations Check: One-third of the way into the 2020 season is time to do a check on the drivers and whether they’re meeting expectations to this point of a unique year.
As crazy as the 2020 season has been, normalcy is gradually returning to NASCAR. Eight races have been run since the ten-week-long hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, bringing the season to its one-third completion mark. Drivers needed an adjustment period to the post-pandemic era of the sport; no practice, no qualifying, no fans, two races in one weekend, the list goes on and on. As the races continue to roll on by, these adjustments have allowed some drivers to surprise, and caused others to disappoint. With the season at a bit of a junction heading into Talladega, here’s a quick look at which drivers are exceeding expectations, and which drivers are flopping.
With the racing ‘graduation’ of several of the last two season’s championship contenders – including two-time Xfinity champion Tyler Reddick, Cole Custer, Christopher Bell, and John Hunter Nemechek all to the NASCAR Cup Series this year – the 2020 Xfinity championship field has a distinctive new competitive look.
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Heading into his fifth NASCAR Xfinity Series start with JR Motorsports at Iowa Speedway on Sunday, Zane Smith had confidence and momentum on his side. Including the last time Smith was behind the wheel of the No. 8 at Dover International Speedway on May 4th, the team has three out of four finishes inside the top-ten. Along with Smith’s ninth-place finish at Dover, Ryan Preece earned a top-five at Pocono with a fourth-place finish, and John Hunter Nemechek earned an eighth-place finish at Michigan.
DOVER, Del. – Christopher Bell won the battle that counted by a few feet—and that small victory launched him to his third NASCAR Xfinity Series triumph of the season in the Allied Steel Buildings 200 at Dover International Speedway.