DARLINGTON, S.C. — Goodyear has agreed to become the title sponsor of the NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway on May 9, the first time in the company's history it will do so.
The spring Darlington NASCAR Cup race will take place under the Goodyear 400 moniker, the company said, and is considered part of NASCAR's Throwback Weekend. Financial terms of the sponsorship deal were not disclosed.
Goodyear — the official tire of NASCAR since 1997 — will get into the "throwback" spirit by replacing the familiar yellow "Eagle" logo on the sidewalls of its racing tires with a vintage "Blue Streak" sidewall design that was used in the 1960s and '70s.
NASCAR's Throwback Weekend features cars with popular paint schemes from the past. Among those will be a car entered by JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series companion championship carrying the Tire Pros logo in a paint scheme designed to evoke the Budweiser sponsorship carried by team owner Dale Earnhardt in 2001.
"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 Raceway L.L.C. President Kerry Tharp said.
"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," he added.
Goodyear's history at Darlington Raceway, a 1.37-mile asymmetrically shaped oval, stretches back over six decades to 1954, when the company conducted its first official NASCAR tire tests. Goodyear's first NASCAR victory also came at the race, in the 1959 Southern 500 with driver 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.
"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."