|Race 13 of 36 in the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series|
|Date||June 22, 2020|
|Location||Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama|
Permanent racing facility|
2.66 mi (4.28 km)
|Distance||191 laps, 508.06 mi (817.48 km)|
|Scheduled Distance||188 laps, 500.08 mi (804.64 km)|
|Average speed||146.933 miles per hour (236.466 km/h)|
|Driver||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Grid positions set by ballot|
|Most laps led|
|Driver||Ryan Blaney||Team Penske|
|No. 12||Ryan Blaney||Team Penske|
|Television in the United States|
|Announcers||Mike Joy and Jeff Gordon|
|Nielsen Ratings||3.300 million|
|Radio in the United States|
|Booth Announcers||Alex Hayden and Jeff Striegle|
|Turn Announcers||Dave Moody (1 & 2), Mike Bagley (Backstretch) and Kurt Becker (3 & 4)|
The 2020 GEICO 500 was a NASCAR Cup Series race held on June 22, 2020, at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Contested over 191 laps -- extended from 188 laps due to an overtime finish, on the 2.66 mile (4.28 km) superspeedway, it was the 13th race of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season.
Talladega Superspeedway, formerly known as Alabama International Motor Speedway, is a motorsports complex located north of Talladega, Alabama. It is located on the former Anniston Air Force Base in the small city of Lincoln. A tri-oval, the track was constructed in 1969 by the International Speedway Corporation, a business controlled by the France family. Talladega is most known for its steep banking. The track currently hosts NASCAR's Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. Talladega is the longest NASCAR oval with a length of 2.66-mile-long (4.28 km) tri-oval like the Daytona International Speedway, which is 2.5-mile-long (4.0 km).
The GEICO 500 was the first NASCAR event since The Real Heroes 400 in May to admit a limited number of public spectators. Races have been held behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the previous week's Dixie Vodka 400 was the first to admit any outside spectators — limited to an invited audience of local members of the U.S. military. Attendance was capped at 5,000 in grandstands and towers, with social distancing and mandatory masking enforced. A limited number of campsites above the back straightaway were also opened. Tickets were being re-issued on a first come first served basis to local residents who had originally purchased tickets to the race before these changes.
Confederate flag ban, Bubba Wallace noose incident
This was the first race open to spectators after NASCAR's decision to ban the Confederate battle flag following a complaint by Bubba Wallace — the only full-time African-American driver in the Cup Series — in light of the George Floyd protests and the Black Lives Matter movement. On the day of the race, vendors outside of the track sold memorabilia carrying the flag, and a plane towing a banner with the flag and "Defund NASCAR" circled the track; NASCAR officials and Governor of Alabama Kay Ivey condemned the flyover, for which Sons of Confederate Veterans later claimed responsibility.
NASCAR reported that a noose had been found inside Wallace's stall, and stated that it would investigate it as a hate crime with the FBI. NASCAR president Steve Phelps threatened that anyone found responsible "will be banned from this sport for life. I don't care who they are, they will not be here." The United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division also joined the investigation. As a sign of solidarity, other drivers and crew members pushed Wallace's car down pit road prior to the start of the race (which had been re-scheduled to June 22 due to rain), while "#IStandWithBubba" was painted on the infield grass.
On June 23, the FBI concluded that no hate crime targeting Wallace had occurred at the track, stating that the "noose" was a pulldown rope for a door, and had been present at the track since 2019. On June 25, NASCAR released a photo of the rope, and announced that it had investigated the stalls of all other NASCAR facilities — concluding that the pulldown rope in that stall was the only one that had been tied in such a manner.
- (R) denotes rookie driver.
- (i) denotes driver who are ineligible for series driver points.
NOTE: Garrett Smithley was added as a late addition after owner B. J. McLeod was inserted into the Spire Motorsports car following NASCAR rejecting the team's original plan of having James Davison in the car because he lacked NASCAR superspeedway experience in a situation where practice and qualifying were omitted. Although the Australian has high-speed oval experience in other ACCUS-sanctioned events, NASCAR rejected Davison because he lacked drafting experience in similar cars in regards to the adverse conditions rules in effect after the pandemic.
Martin Truex Jr. was awarded the pole for the race as determined by a random draw.
Stage One Laps: 60
|1||8||Tyler Reddick (R)||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||10|
|2||88||Alex Bowman||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||9|
|3||22||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford||8|
|4||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||7|
|5||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||6|
|6||12||Ryan Blaney||Team Penske||Ford||5|
|7||2||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||Ford||4|
|8||1||Kurt Busch||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||3|
|9||9||Chase Elliott||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||2|
|10||24||William Byron||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||1|
|Official stage one results|
Stage Two Laps: 60
|1||47||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||10|
|2||12||Ryan Blaney||Team Penske||Ford||9|
|3||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||8|
|4||2||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||Ford||7|
|5||95||Christopher Bell (R)||Leavine Family Racing||Toyota||6|
|6||22||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford||5|
|7||43||Bubba Wallace||Richard Petty Motorsports||Chevrolet||4|
|8||41||Cole Custer (R)||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||3|
|9||17||Chris Buescher||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||2|
|10||24||William Byron||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||1|
|Official stage two results|
Final Stage Results
Stage Three Laps: 68
|1||12||12||Ryan Blaney||Team Penske||Ford||191||54|
|2||20||47||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||191||45|
|3||15||10||Aric Almirola||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||191||34|
|4||2||11||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||191||33|
|5||18||20||Erik Jones||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||191||32|
|6||21||17||Chris Buescher||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||191||33|
|7||8||88||Alex Bowman||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||191||39|
|8||22||38||John Hunter Nemechek (R)||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||191||29|
|9||7||1||Kurt Busch||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||191||31|
|10||5||4||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||191||27|
|11||19||24||William Byron||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||191||28|
|12||33||13||Ty Dillon||Germain Racing||Chevrolet||191||25|
|13||4||48||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||191||31|
|14||24||43||Bubba Wallace||Richard Petty Motorsports||Chevrolet||191||27|
|15||31||37||Ryan Preece||JTG Daugherty Racing||Chevrolet||191||22|
|16||25||32||Corey LaJoie||Go Fas Racing||Ford||191||21|
|17||9||22||Joey Logano||Team Penske||Ford||191||33|
|18||26||34||Michael McDowell||Front Row Motorsports||Ford||191||19|
|19||6||2||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||Ford||191||29|
|20||16||8||Tyler Reddick (R)||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||191||27|
|21||39||62||Brendan Gaughan||Beard Motorsports||Chevrolet||191||16|
|22||28||41||Cole Custer (R)||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||191||18|
|23||14||6||Ryan Newman||Roush Fenway Racing||Ford||191||14|
|24||1||19||Martin Truex Jr.||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||191||13|
|25||10||14||Clint Bowyer||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||191||12|
|26||23||21||Matt DiBenedetto||Wood Brothers Racing||Ford||191||11|
|27||32||00||Quin Houff (R)||StarCom Racing||Chevrolet||190||10|
|28||27||96||Daniel Suárez||Gaunt Brothers Racing||Toyota||190||9|
|29||35||95||Christopher Bell (R)||Leavine Family Racing||Toyota||190||14|
|30||29||27||Gray Gaulding (i)||Rick Ware Racing||Ford||190||0|
|31||30||77||B. J. McLeod (i)||Spire Motorsports||Chevrolet||190||0|
|32||3||18||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||189||19|
|33||38||66||Timmy Hill (i)||MBM Motorsports||Toyota||185||0|
|34||40||78||Garrett Smithley (i)||B. J. McLeod Motorsports||Chevrolet||185||0|
|35||27||15||Brennan Poole (R)||Premium Motorsports||Chevrolet||178||2|
|36||34||53||J. J. Yeley (i)||Rick Ware Racing||Chevrolet||178||0|
|37||36||51||Joey Gase (i)||Petty Ware Racing||Ford||141||0|
|38||11||9||Chase Elliott||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||135||3|
|39||17||3||Austin Dillon||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||133||1|
|40||13||42||Matt Kenseth||Chip Ganassi Racing||Chevrolet||127||1|
|Official race results|
- Lead changes: 56 among 19 different drivers
- Cautions/Laps: 9 for 31
- Red flags: 1 for 57 minutes and 18 seconds
- Time of race: 3 hours, 27 minutes and 28 seconds
- Average speed: 146.933 miles per hour (236.466 km/h)
Fox Sports covered their 20th race at the Talladega Superspeedway. Mike Joy and six-time Talladega winner – and all-time restrictor plate race wins record holder – Jeff Gordon covered the race from the Fox Sports studio in Charlotte. Jamie Little and Vince Welch handled the pit road duties. Larry McReynolds provided insight from the Fox Sports studio in Charlotte.
|Booth announcers||Pit reporters||In-race analyst|
|Lap-by-lap: Mike Joy
Color-commentator: Jeff Gordon
MRN had the radio call for the race which was also be simulcast on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio. Alex Hayden and Jeff Striegle called the race in the booth when the field raced through the tri-oval. Dave Moody called the race from the Sunoco spotters stand outside turn 2 when the field raced through turns 1 and 2. Mike Bagley called the race from a platform inside the backstretch when the field raced down the backstretch. Kurt Becker called the race from the Sunoco spotters stand outside turn 4 when the field races through turns 3 and 4. Winston Kelley and Steve Post worked pit road for the radio side.
|Booth announcers||Turn announcers||Pit reporters|
|Lead announcer: Alex Hayden
Announcer: Jeff Striegle
|Turns 1 & 2: Dave Moody
Backstretch: Mike Bagley
Turns 3 & 4: Kurt Becker
Standings after the race
- "2020 schedule". Jayski.com. Jayski's Silly Season Site. January 17, 2020. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
- "Talladega Superspeedway". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. January 3, 2013. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
- "Entry List" (PDF). Jayski.com. Jayski's Silly Season Site. June 15, 2020. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
- "Starting Lineup". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. June 18, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
- "GEICO 500 Results". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Media Group, LLC. June 22, 2020. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
- "Points standings" (PDF). Jayski.com. Jayski's Silly Season Site. June 22, 2020. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
- "GEICO 500 ratings". ShowBuzzDaily. Mitch Metcalf. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
- "NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega: Ryan Blaney wins Geico 500 in photo finish, Bubba Wallace has top-15 finish". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2020-06-25.
- "NASCAR reveals plan to welcome back guests at select tracks". NASCAR. 2020-06-09. Retrieved 2020-06-10.
- "Noose found in garage of black US racing driver". BBC News. 2020-06-22. Retrieved 2020-06-25.
- "Sons of Confederate Veterans takes responsibility for 'Defund NASCAR' banner that flew over Talladega". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2020-06-25.
- "Nascar's race issues deepen as noose found in Wallace's stall". SportBusiness. 2020-06-22. Retrieved 2020-06-25.
- Martinelli, Michelle R. "FBI announces noose found in Bubba Wallace's garage had been there since 2019; no federal crime committed". USA Today. Retrieved 2020-06-25.
- "#IStandWithBubba trending after noose found in NASCAR driver's stall". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2020-06-25.
- "Drivers show support for Bubba Wallace after pushing No. 43 car to the front at Talladega, sports world reacts". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2020-06-25.
- Bumbaca, Chris. "NASCAR shares picture of noose from Bubba Wallace's garage, says search at all tracks found only one pulldown rope in noose". USA Today. Retrieved 2020-06-25.
2020 Dixie Vodka 400
|NASCAR Cup Series
2020 Pocono Organics 325