2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
The 2019 NASCAR Cup Series (also known as the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for sponsorship reasons) was the 71st season of NASCAR professional stock car racing in the United States, and the 48th modern-era Cup series season. The season began at Daytona International Speedway with the Advance Auto Parts Clash, the Gander RV Duel qualifying races and the 61st running of the Daytona 500. The regular season ended with the Brickyard 400 in September. The playoffs ended with the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead–Miami Speedway on November 17, 2019. Joey Logano of Team Penske entered as the defending series champion.
The 2019 season was the fifth of the current 10-year television contract with Fox Sports and NBC Sports and the fourth of a five-year race sanctioning agreement with all tracks. It was the first season in which Ford fielded the Mustang GT, replacing the Fusion. This was the final season of title sponsor Monster Energy, as NASCAR rejected the energy drink company's extension offer in favor of a new tiered sponsorship model. This was also the final season for Darrell Waltrip covering races in the booth as during the season he announced that the June 23 Toyota/Save Mart 350 would be his last race as a broadcaster.
Following the 2019 Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing clinched his second consecutive Regular Season Championship.Busch then went on to win the championship after winning at the season finale at Homestead. It was his second championship and the first he won after competing in all 36 races during the season, after his injury in 2015 sidelined him for the first 11 races of that season. Busch had won four of the first 14 races of the season, before enduring a 21-race winless streak. His early-season success did give him plenty of playoff points and carried him through the Round of 8 at the expense of 2018 champion Logano on points.
The other members of the Championship 4 all qualified through wins in the semifinal phase. Those were Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin, who finished in that order among the title contenders at Homestead. Truex and Harvick had finished second and third also in the 2018 title race. Reigning champion Logano ended up fifth in the overall standings. Hamlin, while missing out on the title, was the Daytona 500 winner. Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota had three of the four title contenders and won 19 of the 36 races. Alex Bowman and Justin Haley obtained their first career victories, whereas Daniel Hemric won Rookie of the Year honors.
The 2019 season was the last full-time season for drivers David Ragan and Paul Menard, each retiring after twelve years of racing full-time in the Cup Series.