The upcoming NASCAR Cup Series race that will take place at Darlington Raceway finally has a name. On Wednesday, Darlington Raceway and Goodyear announced a partnership on the entitlement of the spring race as part of the Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR on Sunday, May 9. The official name of the race will be the Goodyear 400.
"Goodyear is one of the most iconic brands in the history of motorsports, so we are proud to name our spring NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway the Goodyear 400," Darlington president Kerry Tharp said in a statement. "Goodyear has been a part of many monumental moments in Darlington Raceway's storied history. We look forward to writing a new chapter with Goodyear as part of the Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR."
This is the first time Goodyear will have race entitlement in North America. However, Goodyear has history at Darlington Raceway as the company conducted its first official NASCAR tire tests at the track in 1954 and earned its first NASCAR victory in the 1959 Southern 500 with Jim Reed.
"Goodyear is honored to be a part of the Official Throwback Weekend, a tradition that drivers and fans look forward to each year," Karen Maroli, Goodyear's vice president of marketing, said in a statement. "Goodyear and NASCAR have a shared legacy that spans six decades and multiple generations, and the throwback nature of the Goodyear 400 allows us to celebrate the accomplishments of the past while also showcasing the incredible talents of drivers today."
NASCAR Throwback Weekend serves as a tribute to its roots as it includes the cars sporting vintage paint schemes. "Darlington Raceway is grateful to our loyal race fans and the entire industry for their unwavering support for the Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR since its inception in 2015," Tharp said. "It is this support that allows us to now prepare for two scheduled NASCAR Cup Series race weekends next year. As we rally around the return of our new spring race weekend, we will continue to share the history and tradition of our great sport with the Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR."
The Goodyear 400 will be the first of two Cup Series races at Darlington Raceway. The second is the Southern 500 which will take place on September 5. The Southern 500 will also mark the start of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.