NASCAR has unveiled the name of the Sunday's race that will mark the return of the Cup Series season. The 400.2-mile event at Darlington Raceway will be known as The Real Heroes 400. This decision was made as part of NASCAR's continuing partnership with The Real Heroes Project, a PSA that thanks health care workers and those fighting the coronavirus.
The altered schedule that includes seven races in 11 days has brought about some significant changes. NASCAR postponed standard races such as the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 and the STP 500, while others were removed entirely from the schedule due to health and safety concerns. Name changes have also been featured in the alteration. Dubbing Darlington's race The Real Heroes 400 is one specific example, albeit for a very different reason.
Sunday's @NASCAR Cup Series race will be named The Real Heroes 400.
➖ This is part of NASCAR's association with The Real Heroes Project, a new joint PSA thanking health care workers by more than a dozen sports leagues. pic.twitter.com/j4ohrSfIw0— Adam Stern (@A_S12) May 13, 2020
"That is great news!" one fan commented on Twitter. Several appreciated that NASCAR and its drivers are striving to thank health care workers and first responders, and they felt that this was the perfect name for the race. Although one Twitter user said that outsiders would think that the drivers are "calling themselves the real heroes."
The rebranded race will be one example of NASCAR thanking health care workers, but several drivers will also be expressing their gratitude while competing for their spot in victory lane. Erik Jones, who drives the No. 20 Toyota Camry, will have a Dewalt paint scheme that says "Dewalt Thanks Our Frontline Heroes." This text will be on the hood and the rear of the Camry during Sunday's race.
Kyle Busch, who drives the No. 18 Toyota Camry, will feature a custom M&Ms paint job that thanks healthcare workers. This design includes a white background and M&Ms mascots wearing hats to reference the front line workers. The green M&M has on a white hat bearing a medical cross while the red M&M has on a hardhat and safety glasses. "Thank You Heroes" will appear on multiple spots of the car.
The return of NASCAR without fans will be jarring for some viewers, but they will be excited to see stock car racing once again. They will also be prompted to thank health care workers throughout the day, whether it's due to the paint schemes or the name of the track.