The 2020 Darlington 500K also known as 2020 Toyota 500 will take place on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, at the Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina.
It’s a quick turnaround for NASCAR as the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series was in action also at Darlington Raceway last Sunday for the Real Heroes 400 which was won by Kevin Harvick. The win was Harvick’s first of the season and it put him on top of the NASCAR Cup Series leaderboard with a total of 218 points.
Here are the current NASCAR Cup Series standings after the 2020 Real Heroes 400 last Sunday at the Darlington Raceway:
The Toyota 500K is the 6th race of the 2020 NASCAR Series Cup championship. It is a 228 lap that covers a 500 km distance around the Darlington oval. The starting grid for this race will have a twist as the Top 20 finishers in last Sunday’s Real Heroes 400 will be inverted.
This means that winner Kevin Harvick will start in 20th place while Joey Logano who finished 18th will start third, and so on.
These are the betting odds to win the Darlington 500K, released by the top NASCAR betting sites, on May 20, 2020:
Kevin Harvick – Harvick is the current leader in the NASCAR Cup Series standings. The 44-year old 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion picked up his first win of the season by taking the checkered flag at last Sunday’s Real Heroes 400 which was also held in Darlington. Harvick was already on a roll before Sunday as he had finished inside the Top 10 in his previous four races including a 2nd place finish in Phoenix just before the COVID-19 pandemic halted the season.
Kyle Busch – Busch is the 2015 and 2019 NASCAR Series Cup champion. The 35-year old younger brother of NASCAR driver Kurt Busch is currently 14th in the 2020 Series Cup standings with a total of 122 points and with two Top 5 and Top 10 finishes this season. Busch finished in 28th place last weekend, breaking his string of two consecutive Top 3 finishes before the season was suspended.
Denny Hamlin – Hamlin has won over 30 NASCAR Cup Series races including the Daytona 500 in 2016, 2019, and 2020. Last February, he became the 4th driver to win back to back Daytona 500 races. Hamlin is currently 6th in the 2020 NASCAR Series Cup standings with 154 points. He has thee Top 6 finishes in the first six races of the 2020 season, including a 5th place finish here at Darlington last weekend
Alex Bowman – Bowman is currently 2nd in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series standings with 190 points. The 27-year old Hendricks Motorsports driver won the 2020 Auto Club 400 in California last March 1, 2020, his second career win in the NASCAR Cup Series. He finished second to Kevin Harvick in last weekend’s race also here in Darlington.
Chase Elliott – Elliott was the 2016 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year who is currently 4th in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series standings with 178 points. Elliott has finished in the Top 10 in each of his last three races in the NASCAR Cup Series, including a 4th place finish at last weekend’s Real Heroes 400 here in Darlington.
Joey Logano – Logano is the youngest driver to win a Cup Series race when he won the 2009 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at 19 years and 35 days. Logano is currently third in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series standings with 185 points. He has won two out of the first five races of the 2020 season and is coming off an 18th place finish last weekend.
Erik Jones – Jones was victorious in Darlington last fall and he hasn’t finished worse than 8th place in his last four starts here. Last Sunday, Jones navigated his car from position #20 to finish in 8th place. He has not led a single lap in 2020 and he has won only two Series Cup races in his NASCAR career. However, his consistency in this race track makes him an interesting pick.
Jimmie Johnson – The veteran hasn’t found success in his recent races in Darlington but he’s a past winner here and that should put him into consideration. If you take out his 38th place finish last Sunday, Johnson went 5th, 7th, and 12th in his previous three races. He was on the verge of winning the first stage on Sunday before committing a rare mistake that led to him crashing his car.
Kurt Busch – Busch has four consecutive Top 7 finishes in Darlington. He’s also started the season strong, finishing third in Fontana two races ago, sixth in Phoenix, and then 3rd place last Sunday.
This isn’t your traditional race because there’s nor practice nor qualifying for this race. Sunday’s race was the first after 70 days since the suspension due to the pandemic so you couldn’t gauge how the drivers will fare in this race. This race is also shorter than Sunday’s race by 64 laps since it covers just 500 km. The inverted starting format makes this race interesting as well. Lastly, this is a night race whereas Sunday’s race was run in broad daylight.
When you talk about form, it’s Kevin Harvick who is in the best form right now. He’s coming off a win and he’s finished inside the Top 10 in his last four races. However, he won only four races last season and he hasn’t won back to back races since 2018 when he won the AAA 400 Drive for Autism and KC Masterpiece 400 that year.
Joey Logano is a solid driver when racing on an intermediate track. Since 2018, he has three wins and 11 Top 5 finishes in such tracks. Logano has struggled in Darlington as he’s finished 14th or lower in his last four starts there, including an 18th place finish last Sunday. I think that he’s due for a big performance on an intermediate track. The fact that Logano is #3 on the starting grid in this race is another reason why I think he has a good chance of winning this race.
PREDICTION: JOEY LOGANO
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