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What Do We Know After the 20 Completed Laps in the 2020 Daytona 500?

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 16: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #47 Kroger Chevrolet, leads the field to the green flag, waved by former NASCAR driver, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to start the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

*Note: The Daytona 500 will continue at 4:05 PM ET on Monday. Television Coverage will be on FOX starting at 4:00 PM ET. Canadian viewers can watch The Great American race on TSN 5.

Rain put a damper on what was shaping up to be an electric Daytona 500 on Sunday. However, we did get 20 laps in the books to whet our appetite.

That being said, what did we learn?

1. JTG Daugherty’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. potentially has the best car in the field.

Stenhouse shocked the world when he — not a Hendrick Motorsports car — landed on the pole for the 2020 Daytona 500. However, he has looked every bit the part of a potential winner of this iconic race throughout Speedweeks. Despite very little — to no — help in his Duel race, Stenhouse was able to contend for the win in the closing laps with Joey Logano.

On Sunday, it was Stenhouse who led all 20 laps of the race, with a pack of hungry Fords nipping at his heels. If Stenhouse can stay out of trouble, and find a Chevy who is willing to work with him, he could capture the sport’s biggest prize.

2. The Ford teams are working really well together.

While Stenhouse may have the best car in the race, it seems — at least early on — that the Ford teams are working best together.When the red flag was displayed for rain, five Fords had lined up behind Stenhouse’s No. 47 Chevrolet and were looking poised to pounce.

Joey Logano led the blue oval party and he was followed by Aric Almirola, Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski.

Ford has been very successful in recent seasons at the Superspeedway events. It stems from strong Roush-Yates powerplants, but also a key cog in the success has been their willingness to work well with one another.

3. The Toyotas seem content to ride in the back and weather ‘The Big One’

While the Ford teams seem ready to press the attack in the early portions of the race, the Toyota teams are playing a different strategy.

Martin Truex Jr. leads the five-car Toyota armada back in 31st thru 36th.

With Toyota lacking the sheer numbers of the other manufacturers in the event, this may be a truly smart strategy. A huge wreck near the front of the field would certainly even the numbers playing field for Toyota, as long as all five of their cars are able to miss the carnage.

4. Timmy Hill has a really good MBM Motorsports Ford Mustang

Hill wasn’t expected to make the Daytona 500 field. He also wasn’t expected to compete very well in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona on Saturday.

Hill made the Daytona 500 field. And on Saturday, he finished third in the Xfinity Series race.

On Sunday, Hill sliced and diced his way from the 32nd-starting spot to 10th by the time the red flag stopped the race at lap 20. He has a fast MBM Motorsports Ford Mustang, which has a stout Roush-Yates power plant under the hood.

When the race goes back green, Hill will need to pit to repair a broken fender brace, but he should be able to continue on and showcase his speed and drafting prowess the rest of the race.

Here is the full running order for when the race goes back green at 4:05 PM ET (Television coverage on FOX starting at 4:00 PM ET, in Canada the race will be aired on TSN 5) on Monday:

  1. 47-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  2. 22-Joey Logano
  3. 10-Aric Almirola
  4. 6-Ryan Newman
  5. 4-Kevin Harvick
  6. 2-Brad Keselowski
  7. 24-William Byron
  8. 48-Jimmie Johnson
  9. 13-Ty Dillon
  10. 66-Timmy Hill
  11. 36-David Ragan
  12. 17-Chris Buescher
  13. 21-Matt DiBenedetto
  14. 9-Chase Elliott
  15. 77-Ross Chastain
  16. 88-Alex Bowman
  17. 42-Kyle Larson
  18. 1-Kurt Busch
  19. 3-Austin Dillon
  20. 41-Cole Custer
  21. 34-Michael McDowell
  22. 8-Tyler Reddick
  23. 12-Ryan Blaney
  24. 43-Bubba Wallace
  25. 27-Reed Sorenson
  26. 52-BJ McLeod
  27. 32-Corey LaJoie
  28. 62-Brendan Gaughan
  29. 37-Ryan Preece
  30. 16-Justin Haley
  31. 19-Martin Truex Jr.
  32. 18-Kyle Busch
  33. 20-Erik Jones
  34. 95-Christopher Bell
  35. 11-Denny Hamlin
  36. 14-Clint Bowyer
  37. 38-John Hunter Nemechek
  38. 00-Quin Houff
  39. 51-Joey Gase
  40. 15-Brennan Poole
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