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:
8:19 p.m. ET: Denny Hamlin is penalized for not lining up properly coming to pit road. He must restart from the back of the pack.
8:12 p.m. ET: Joey Logano wins Stage 1. Jimmie Johnson (fifth) and William Byron (seventh) get some important stage points.
7:52 p.m. ET: Green flag. Restart on Lap 25. William Byron keeps the lead with teammate Alex Bowman in tow.
7:46 p.m. ET: The competition caution arrives after 20 green flag laps. William Byron leads with his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman in second.
— Matt Weaver (@MattWeaverAW) August 29, 2020
7:41 p.m. ET: Kevin Harvick has to bail from the front of the pack. He has some debris on his grill and is running too hot.
7:35 p.m. ET: JJ Yeley loses power, but he gets off the track in time to avoid a caution. He is later ruled out with an engine loss and will finish the race last.
7:30 p.m. ET: Green flag. The Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona is underway. Joey Logano pushes Kevin Harvick to the initial lead before Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski bring the top line even with the bottom line.
7:18 p.m. ET: Engines fired for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona.
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 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|