Twitter: @Roush6Team, @RoushFenway and @RyanJNewman
Race Format: 400.2 miles, 293 laps, Stage Lengths: 90-95-108
Darlington 400 – Sunday, May 17 at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN, SiriusXM Channel 90
NASCAR Returns to Action
- NASCAR makes its return to racing this weekend with a NASCAR Cup Series race that will serve as the first of seven national series races over an 11-day span at two different tracks throughout May.
- The race at the historic South Carolina track will be held without fans in attendance and is slated to be NASCAR’s first on-track action in more than two months as the sport and world have been on pause during COVID-19.
- Following the initial race back on Sunday, the NCS will again visit Darlington for a midweek race under the lights three days later. The May schedule also includes the crown jewel Coca-Cola 600 in its traditional Memorial Day Weekend home for the 60th consecutive season, plus other midweek races in prime time.
- Four weeks of NASCAR action were completed prior to the outbreak before races at Atlanta, Homestead, Texas, Bristol, Richmond, Talladega, Dover and Martinsville were later postponed.
Newman at Darlington Raceway
- Newman makes his return to the car this weekend following a last-lap crash in the Daytona 500 in which he was leading coming to the checkered flag. After recovering from the injuries sustained in the crash, Newman was cleared for racing activity on April 28 and granted a playoff waiver from NASCAR after missing three races (Las Vegas, Fontana, Phoenix).
- Newman will make his 22nd Cup Series start at Darlington on Sunday, a track he has 13 top-10s at with seven top-five finishes. He has an average finish of 12.6 – his second best of any track on the circuit behind only Richmond (12.3).
- Newman has finished top-10 in 62 percent of the races at the 1.366-mile track, including a runner-up finish in is first ever-Southern 500 back in 2002. Dating back seven events, Newman has five finishes of 13th or better including four top-10s.
- Newman has one career pole at ‘The Lady in Black’, which came back in the 2003 Southern 500. Overall he has an average starting position of 10.6 with 13 top-10 starts, eight of which were inside the top five.
- Newman also made five starts at Darlington in the Xfinity Series, earning the pole in each of the first two events in 2001. He went on to finish fourth in the 2001 fall race – his best career Xfinity result – with an overall finish of 13.6 in the series at the famed track.
Scott Graves at Darlington Raceway
- Graves will call his fifth NCS race at Darlington atop the pit box. In four prior events, Graves has an average finish of 27th (two starts with Daniel Suarez, one each with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., and Ryan Newman).
- In Xfinity Series action, Graves led Suarez to a third-place finish in 2016 after starting fifth. A year prior, he and Chris Buescher paired up for a fifth-place result.
Newman on return to racing:
“I’m so excited and thankful to be healthy to get back into the race car. I am thankful for all the people and support that have prayed for me and given me a multitude of miracles. I cannot think of a better track to start back at than Darlington, my favorite track and one we feel confident in. I’m excited to get back behind the wheel of the Oscar Mayer Ford.”
The Real Heroes Project Debuts at Darlington
NASCAR is collaborating with other professional sports properties across the country to embark on The Real Heroes Project. The goal is to motivate and inspire healthcare workers as sports only can, by turning its greatest heroes (the athletes) into their greatest fans. To that end, the name of a COVID-19 frontline worker will be displayed above the driver’s side door on each entry this weekend at Darlington.
For the first race back on May 17, NASCAR worked in partnership with FOX and their tune-in priority market affiliate program to select the COVID-19 worker being recognized. FOX affiliates from around the country were asked to nominate a local hero from their community to be recognized during the return. Newman’s frontline worker will be Dr. Benjamin Petty, an Emergency Medicine Physician at IU Health West Hospital in Avon, selected by WXIN FOX 59 in the Indianapolis market.
On the Car
Oscar Mayer returns to the No. 6 Ford this weekend at Darlington. Oscar Mayer and Roush Fenway announced their continued partnership at the end of the 2019 season, as the company continues to highlight its quality meat offerings via its paint schemes throughout the season.
- Oscar Mayer’s Front Yard Cookout initiative inspired the No. 6 Oscar Mayer Ford scheme for Darlington. To celebrate the return of NASCAR and Ryan Newman, the brand is encouraging fans to recreate their own at-home infield experience by firing up the grill and connecting with fellow race fans and neighbors on their front lawn from a safe distance.
- Snap a pic of your pre-race cookout and share for a good cause! Each usage of #FrontYardCookout on Twitter donates one additional meal to Feeding America on top of the brand’s 1 million-meal commitment. Oscar Mayer’s Front Yard Cookout runs through May 31, 2020.
About The Kraft Heinz Company
For 150 years, we have produced some of the world’s most beloved products at The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ: KHC). Our Vision is To Be the Best Food Company, Growing a Better World. We are one of the largest global food and beverage companies, with 2018 net sales of approximately $26 billion. Our portfolio is a diverse mix of iconic and emerging brands. As the guardians of these brands and the creators of innovative new products, we are dedicated to the sustainable health of our people and our planet. To learn more, visit https://www.kraftheinzcompany.com/or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.