The 2020 Daytona 500, the 62nd running of the event, was a NASCAR Cup Series race held on February 16–17, 2020. It was contested over 209 laps — extended from 200 laps due to an overtime finish, on the 2.5-mile (4.0 km) asphalt superspeedway. It was the first race of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season.
The race was started by President of the United States Donald Trump, who served as Grand Marshal, and the opening lap was paced by the official Presidential state car. WWE professional wrestler Sheamus drove the pace car for the opening laps, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., two-time winner of the Daytona 500, waved the green flag to officially start the race.
The race was scheduled for February 16, but persistent rain showers caused the race to be suspended on lap 20 and postponed until 4 p.m. the following day, the second time the race has had to be postponed due to rain. The first time was in 2012. This was the final Daytona 500 starts for Clint Bowyer, 2-time Daytona 500 winner Jimmie Johnson, Brendan Gaughan, Leavine Family Racing, Premium Motorsports, and Germain Racing.
Most of the race was cleanly run until lap 185, when The Big One struck, triggering a massive crash involving at least 20 cars on the backstretch. The race was red-flagged as a result. Denny Hamlin won the race by 0.014 seconds over Ryan Blaney on the second restart in overtime. Chris Buescher, David Ragan, and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five. On the final lap, Ryan Newman was involved in a serious crash and was immediately rushed to a local hospital. Two hours after the crash, it was announced he was seriously injured in the crash, but the injuries were not believed to be life-threatening. Newman was released from the hospital on Wednesday, February 19, and would return to racing at the 2020 The Real Heroes 400. In the days that followed, many news outlets credit Newman’s miraculous survival of his crash to the safety features implemented by NASCAR following the death of Dale Earnhardt at the end of the 2001 Daytona 500.