Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series — Race No. 25 – Bojangles Southern 500
NASCAR Xfinity Series — Race No. 24 – SportClips Help a Hero 200
Darlington Raceway (1.366-mile oval) – Darlington, S.C.
Fast Facts for August 30-September 1, 2019
Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials
Cup: 3 sets for practice, 1 set for qualifying and 14 sets for the race (13 race sets plus 1 set transferred from qualifying or practice);
Xfinity: 7 sets for the event
Left-side — D-4928; Right-side — D-4930
Left-side — 2,227 mm (87.68 in.);
Right-side — 2,248 mm (88.50 in.)
Minimum Recommended Inflation:
Left Front — 19 psi; Left Rear – 19 psi;
Right Front — 52 psi; Right Rear — 48 psi
Storyline – Darlington’s “Throwback” weekend means return to high-wear history: For many years, Darlington Raceway was know as NASCAR’s high-wear speedway, with its sand-blasted track surface that chewed through tires. After the track was repaved back in 2007, it took several years, but the surface has aged once again and made the Southern 500 a tire wear/tire management race. Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams will have access to a season-high 14 sets of Goodyear Eagles for race day, meaning they will have to go an average of just more than 26 laps per set to complete the race. That sounds like a reasonable challenge, however, teams will likely pit for four fresh tires after just a handful of laps if the opportunity presents itself. That means that the team aspect of the sport will be more important at Darlington, as pit crews that rip off the fastest stops will give their teams the advantage of track position. Equally important, drivers that are able to manage their tires early in a run and not have their lap times fall off as much will profit later in a longer run.
“The Southern 500 is one of the great races on the NASCAR Cup schedule, and it being ‘Throwback’ weekend is just one reason for that,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. “Darlington is back to being a high tire wear race track, and that means many things that add up to a great event – tire management, meaning more comers and goers throughout the field leading to a lot of passing over the course of a run; 14 sets of tires for the race, meaning the pit crews will play a big part in a team’s success; and add in the excitement of it being ‘Throwback’ weekend, where the sport and the fans get to celebrate 70 years of NASCAR history.”
Notes – New tire set-up for NASCAR teams at Darlington: Teams in both the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series will run the same tire set-up at Darlington this weekend . . . while this is the first time NASCAR teams have run this combination of left- and right-side tires at Darlington, they did run it at Chicagoland in June . . . compared to what these teams ran at this track last year, both of these tires feature the same tread compounds with just a construction update to align with what is run at other speedways . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Darlington . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.
Throwback Tires – Goodyear throws back with early- to mid-’90s tire markings: In support of Darlington’s throwback initiative, the Goodyear tires run at this weekend’s races will feature a different sidewall design than teams normally run . . . with the track targeting the early 1990s, Goodyear is running its era specific “Goodyear #1” and “Eagle” markings on the sidewalls . . . this branding began in 1992 and marked Goodyear’s move from white letters to the now standard yellow.
— Goodyear Racing —