20 Days until the Daytona 500

In Sprint Cup Series competition the #20 car has started 1,093 races with 87 drivers and has 50 wins, 21 poles, 204 top 5s, 420 top 10s, and 259 DNFs.

  • Tony Stewart has 356 starts in the Joe Gibbs #20 car from 1999-2008 with 33 wins. Tony Stewart debuted the #20 Home Depot car at the 1999 Daytona 500, qualifying on the outside pole. He won three races at Richmond , Phoenix and Homestead as well as the Winston Open and the NASCAR Rookie of the Year honors and finished 4th in points. 2000 was an up and down year for Stewart as he won six races, including both Dover races, Martinsville, New Hampshire, Michigan and Homestead but only finished 6th in points. 2001 was another good year for Stewart, as he won the Budweiser Shootout, Richmond, Infineon and Bristol and finished 2nd in the overall standings.
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Stewart, 1999

2002 was a break-out year for Stewart with wins at Atlanta, Richmond and Watkins Glen along with the Budweiser Shootout and the team won the 2002 championship . In 2003, Stewart won twice at Pocono and Charlotte and finished 7th in points. In 2004 the team had a similar year to 2003 with 2 wins and finished 6th in points in the first ever chase.

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Stewart wins the Winston Cup, 2002

Stewart won his second championship in 2005 . After winning the Gatorade Duel, the team didn’t win again until Infineon and went on to win the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, New Hampshire, Indianapolis and Watkins Glen and held the championship through the Chase.

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Stewart Wins the NEXTEL Cup, 2005

2006 was Stewart’s worst season statistically. After winning early at Martinsville, Stewart suffered an injury at Charlotte and was replaced during Dover. He won again at Daytona but missed the Chase. During the Chase, Stewart won 3 races at Kansas, Atlanta and Texas and finished 11th in points. 2007 was another good year for the team. Though Stewart won the Budweiser Shootout and Gatorade Duel, an early wreck smashed his Daytona 500 hopes. The team won 3 races though at Chicagoland, Indianapolis  and Watkins Glen and finished 6th in points.

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Tony’s 2007 Chevy

Following the team’s switch from Chevrolet to Toyota, Stewart’s performance dwindled, earning 10 top 5s and 16 top 10s. Stewart’s only win was the 2008 AMP Energy 500 atTalladega  in a controversial finish. Stewart was passed on the final lap by rookie Regan Smith, who would cross the finish line in first. Smith, however, was found to be passing below the yellow line upon video review, and per NASCAR rules had his position revoked, giving Stewart the win.

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Stewart, 2008

On June 9, 2008, Stewart was granted a release from his final year of his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing, ending a twelve year relationship with the organization that included over 30 wins and two Cup Series Championships. Stewart would move to Haas CNC Racing, renamed Stewart-Haas Racing after Stewart purchased a 50% ownership stake from founder Gene Haas, in part to return to longtime manufacturer Chevrolet

  • Clyde Lynn  started #20 a total of 160 times from 1965-1971 with no wins.
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Clyde Lynn, 1968
  • Joey Logano started #20 144 times with 2 wins. On August 25, 2008, Joe Gibbs Racing announced that 18-year-old Joey Logano would replace Stewart as the driver of the #20 car for the 2009 season, after only making his NASCAR debut in May 2008 and running abbreviated Nationwide and Cup schedules. Longtime crew chief Greg Zipadelli remained with JGR for Logano’s rookie season. Logano’s first win came in the rain-shortened Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire  Motor Speedway after a fuel mileage gamble, becoming the youngest winner in Sprint Cup Series history. Logano beat former open-wheel drivers Max Papis and Scott Speed for the Rookie of the Year Award, with seven top-tens and a 20th place points finish.
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Logano, 2009

Logano failed to win in 2010 and finished 16th in points. In 2011 Logano again was winless and finished 24th in points. On October 13, 2011, Joe Gibbs Racing announced The Home Depot will become co-primary sponsor for Logano’s car with Dollar General.

Dollar General was set to sponsor 12 races while the other 22 will continue to be sponsored by The Home Depot. The Home Depot had served as the sole primary sponsor of the #20 car since its debut with Tony Stewart in 1999. Logano won his second career race at Pocono  from the pole in the 2012 Pocono 400 after passing Mark Martin with 3 laps to go.

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Logano, 2012

Logano was experiencing little success in the #20 car, and it was announced in the summer of 2012 that Matt Kenseth would replace Logano for the 2013 season. Logano was hired to pilot the #22 for Roger Penske, where he remains today.

 

  • From 1973-1986 Rick Newsom  started #20 a total of 73 times.
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Newsom, 1973
  • Matt Kenseth  has 142 starts in #20 with 14 wins. Beginning in 2013, the #20 car was taken over by Matt Kenseth, who left Roush Fenway Racing, as Joey Logano moved to the #22 at Penske Racing. The team saw a resurgence, with Kenseth winning five races in the regular season (Las Vegas, Kansas, Darlington , Kentucky, and Bristol), and led the most laps at several other races (Daytona 500, Kansas, Richmond and Talladega). Kenseth also won the first two races of the Chase, bringing the team up to 7 wins – which was more wins in a single season than the car had ever achieved with Stewart or Logano, though Kenseth would go winless in 2014.
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    Kenseth at Kentucky, 2013

    It was announced in September 2014 that Stanley Black & Decker would leave Richard Petty Motorsports to sponsor JGR in the Cup Series for 2015. This move reunited Kenseth with long time sponsor DeWalt  for six races as a primary, and the entire season as an associate.

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Kenseth’s 2015 Dewalt Scheme

Kenseth won 5 races in his 34 starts in 2016. After a difficult second round of the Chase, Kenseth was on the verge of punching his ticket to the next round with a win at Kansas. In the final 5 laps, an altercation with the #22 car of Joey Logano cost Kenseth the win and a chance to advance. Logano ended up sweeping the second round.

2 weeks later at Martinsville Kenseth, after an altercation with Logano’s teammate of Brad Keselowski, displayed his displeasure with Team Penske by intentionally wrecking Logano and then lying about it on television. Logano would not recover from the incident and was eliminated from the Chase at the end of the round. Kenseth would be suspended for 2 races allowing you Erik Jones to make 2 starts in the car.

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Eric Jones subbing for the suspended Kenseth, 2015

Kenseth started out his season with a promising race in the Daytona 500. He led 40 laps in the waning stages in the race. He took the white flag to start the final lap, but was passed by teammate Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex, Jr.. Kenseth’s attempt at blocking backfired as he went sideways and lost several positions. Kenseth finished 14th while Hamlin edged Truex to the stripe to win the closest finish in the race’s history.

One week later in the Atlanta race, he was tagged for “improper fueling” during a green flag pit stop and was forced to serve a pass-through penalty. He was given the black flag with the white cross marks for not pitting within three laps. After serving that penalty, he ended up in 31st two-laps down. After the race, he said “I got black-flagged for some type of pit road penalty and I didn’t know it and pitted the lap they told me to do a pass through – I’m assuming they were black flagging us before that and they pulled our card. I never heard anything about it or at least saw the flag or anything, so I came when they told me to come and I guess they must have penalized us a couple laps or something. I don’t really know. I haven’t really seen it.” However, Kenseth did go on to finish 19th. He finished 37th at Las Vegas after being involved in a multi-car wreck with Chase Elliott, Kurt Busch, and Carl Edwards late in the race.

At Talladega, Kenseth started 4th and led 39 of the first 71 laps and got caught up in a late-race wreck with Joey Logano and Danica Patrick causing Kenseth to barrel-roll onto his roof. Kenseth exchanged words with Logano after the race, accusing Logano of shoving him off the track just before the wreck happened.

At the restart of a caution at Dover, Kenseth started on the inside front row next to Jimmie Johnson. Johnson looked to have gotten a great start but couldn’t shift into 4th gear, causing an 18-car wreck. Kenseth made it through, then the red flag came out. With 10 laps remaining, Kenseth was having a hard time holding off Kyle Larson. But when 3rd position driver Chase Elliott challenged Larson, Kenseth then had no trouble winning the race to end a 17-race winless streak.

At the first New Hampshire race of the season, Kenseth held off Tony Stewart for his second win of the season, and his 38th career win. This win also makes it 2 wins in a row at New Hampshire. The win moved Kenseth into 19th place on the all-times wins list passing Bobby Isaac and teammate Kyle Busch.

After the race, Joe Gibbs Racing was docked 15 owner and driver points Wednesday for failing postrace inspection at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. His car failed the Laser Inspection Station (LIS). NASCAR assessed a P3 penalty that included the loss of 15 points, which drops Kenseth from eighth to ninth in the point standings. Crew chief Jason Ratcliff was also fined $25,000. Kenseth will return to the #20 in 2017.

 

  • Dick Rathmann  started #20 a total of 65 times with 10 wins from 1951-1953. Dick drove in the AAA Championship Car series in the 1949 and 1950 seasons with 4 starts, including the 1950 Indianapolis 500. He finished in the top ten once, in 6th position at Milwaukee in 1950. In 1951, he moved to NASCAR, where he was a very successful Grand National driver through 1955.
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    Dick Rathman

    In 1956, he returned to the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1956-1964 seasons with an additional 41 starts, including the Indianapolis 500 races in 1956 and 1958-1964. He finished in the top ten 21 more times, with his best finish in 2nd position in 1959 at Daytona.

    Dick sat on the pole for the 1958 Indianapolis 500. On the first lap, he and fellow front-row starter Ed Elisian raced into turn 3 and started a chain-reaction accident which involved 15 cars and cost the life of Pat O’Connor. With that accident, Rathmann became the first Indy pole-sitter to complete no laps. This feat has been repeated only twice in Indy history, first by Roberto Guerrero and then by Scott Sharp.

 

  • Rob Moroso  raced car #20 in 26 races from 1989-1990. Moroso made his debut in Winston Cup in 1988 at Charlotte with Peak Antifreeze sponsorship, finishing 14th in his debut. He would race one more time in 1988 and ran two races in 1989 as a warm up for the following season. Moroso declared he was running for Rookie of the Year in the 1990 season with sponsorship from Crown Petroleum, driving the #20 Oldsmobile for his father. The highlight of the season was a ninth place finish in the Pepsi Firecracker 400 at Daytona. On September 30, 1990, Moroso was killed in an automobile crash near Mooresville, North Carolina only hours after finishing 21st in the Holly Farms 400 at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Traveling at an estimated 75 mph, Moroso lost control of his vehicle in a curve with a 35 mph posted speed limit. The resulting collision killed both Moroso and Tammy Williams, the driver of the vehicle in the opposite lane.
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    Moroso, 1990

    Investigations revealed that he had been driving under the influence of alcohol. His blood alcohol level was 0.22, over twice the then legal level of 0.10. He also had been convicted of speeding four times. Judges could have revoked his license at least twice but the charges were reduced.

    Moroso earned enough points after completing just 25 of 29 races that he was posthumously awarded the Raybestos NASCAR Rookie of the Year Award in 1990.

 

  • Jack Anderson  piloted the #20 in 25 starts fro 1963-1965.
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Anderson (20)

Other notable names in #20

  • Bobby Hillin Jr., 11 starts
  • Buddy Baker, 7 starts
  • Marvin Panch, 6 starts
  • Joe Ruttman, 6 starts
  • Tiny Lund, 5 starts
  • Elmo Langley, 3 starts
  • Greg Sacks, 6 starts

 

The #20 is also run in the NASCAR XFINITY Series by Joe Gibbs Racing it’s affiliate Kyle Busch Motorsports. The car has featured starts by many of Gibb’s Cup drivers, but now serves as the primary vehicle for Erik Jones.

DAV 200 - Honoring America's Veterans

 

 

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