DARLINGTON, S.C. — Goodyear will embrace NASCAR's "Throwback Weekend" festivities in mid-May at Darlington Raceway with a sidewall script design that echoes the original Wingfoot logo from 1900.
The special design is both a nod to NASCAR's 75th season and Goodyear's 125th anniversary as a corporation.
The limited-edition sidewall design will be featured on 3,500 tires at all three NASCAR national series races (Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Craftsman Truck Series) during the Darlington Raceway weekend, May 12-14, and draws attention to 69-year relationship between NASCAR and Goodyear, the longest-tenured sponsor in the sport.
Goodyear — which also is the title sponsor of the 400-mile Cup Series car race at Darlington — and NASCAR renewed Goodyear's tire supply contract last year for an undisclosed number of additional seasons.
"It's exciting to be a part of this special weekend and acknowledge the distinctive relationship that two storied organizations like NASCAR and Goodyear share," Stu Grant, general manager, Goodyear Global Race Tires, said.
"The unique, first-of-its kind sidewall design is a fitting tribute to our remarkable history together and our shared passion for motorsports."
NASCAR's Throwback Weekend features cars with popular paint schemes from the past.
In addition, race fans have a chance to win a Throwback Weekend experience and other prizes by entering a sweepstakes at Goodyear400Sweepstakes.com.
Among the prizes are trip to the race for two (including air fare and hotel accommodations), a pair of VIP tickets to the race, a race tire used by the winning team and a ride on the Goodyear Blimp. Entries are accepted until May 3.
Goodyear's use of the Wingfoot symbol — itself an homage to the fleet-footed god of mythology known to the Romans as Mercury and the Greeks as Hermes — as its corporate moniker dates to 1900 and is attributed to company founder Frank Seiberling, who was inspired by a statue of the god on a stairway newel in his family home in Akron.
Mercury in ancient times was the god of trade and commerce but he was best known as a swift messenger for all the gods of mythology.
According to Goodyear's corporate history, Seiberling felt that the god embodied many of the characteristics for which Goodyear products were known.
A meeting to discuss the idea of suitable trademark — something distinctively Goodyear that would distinguish it from other companies — was held at the Seiberling home in August 1900. Among the proposals was a sketch of the winged foot of Mercury, as suggested by Seiberling, which became Goodyear's iconic Wingfoot logo.